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The LGBTQ consumer

In a Medium article about purpose-driven brands we described what we called “Opportunist” brands, which jump on social issues in the most superficial way and try to take advantage of them. At best, these efforts are ignored, like wallpaper. At worst, they can backfire and make the brand seem exploitative.

Many brands have struggled to connect with LGBTQ consumers, specifically. Every June during LGTB History Month in the US brands slap rainbow flags on everything, but this recent Fast Company article suggest those efforts, in and of themselves, generally don’t work.  It can’t just be a once-a-year display. LGBTQ engagement should be an ongoing part of how your brand lives.

For example, the article points to Suitsupply, which lost a ton of Instagram followers (presumably mostly straight ones, judging by the comments) after introducing a campaign clearly aimed at gay men.  And there is Disney, which directed a social influencer campaign for A Wrinkle in Time at the LGBTQ community.

The article quotes an expert who recommends ditching the hit-and-run Pride-month-only strategies and, if you are going to go after LGBTQ consumers, make them a part of your brand on an ongoing basis, not just once a year, and promote people from those communities into leadership roles in your organization.

(photo: Charlotte Butcher/Unsplash)