Pride month is officially over (in the U.S, anyway). The plethora of rainbow-colored accessories that were worn to parades all over the country have been neatly stacked away for another year, the rainbow-themed social media cover photo has been retired – and many companies have moved on from advertising to the LGBTQ+ community.
What a shame. According to AdAge, 13% of Americans identify as LGBTQ+ and the spending power of this community is massive at 1+ trillion USD.
So how can brands make genuine human connections with the LGBTQ+ community, and not just advertise rainbow products during the month of June? It’s easy, really.
Don’t Just Show Your Pride During Pride
Here in Chicago, there are a couple of companies – think massive telecoms and the like – that participate in the pride parade every year. They have their float, they throw out rainbow necklaces and bracelets with their company name on them, and showcase their queer employees. But that’s about all they do. They don’t show support for the community beyond June, and many people recognize that.
And people can smell fake support even on social media. If it’s clear your company is advertising only during pride with a select range of rainbow products, you’re probably not a true ally. Showing your support throughout the year will prove that you are serious about queer causes.
Can We Get Past Just the Rainbow?
The LGBTQ+ community is diverse, with no blanket statements that describe the swath of colors, sexual orientations, or general diversity of the people that make up this community. Sure, the rainbow is an important symbol that we all recognize and should be proud of, but there’s much more beyond that. Advertisers would do well to remember that there are many flags that show support of these diverse groups, and to implement these in your product offerings and advertising.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
The sad truth is that not everyone is accepting of LGBTQ+ individuals so violence against these individuals, homelessness, and sometimes lack of healthcare are very real concerns. Your brand can make a difference by donating to legitimate organizations that are helping prevent these issues.
One of my favorite bow-tie makers that advertises on Instagram gives 50% of her proceeds to preventing youth homelessness in the LGBTQ+ community, and the amount of bow-ties I’ve purchased from her is, frankly, astonishing. This does make a difference in the purchasing patterns of LGBTQ+ individuals.
Obviously this is not an exhaustive list of ways to gain support from this important community, but hopefully this will help you and your brand find creative ways to show your support throughout the year.