All Articles Marketing Marketing Strategy LGBTQIA+ community supports brands that support them

LGBTQIA+ community supports brands that support them

The LGBTQIA+ community is under legislative pressure across the US. A Horowitz study shows why brands should support them.

3 min read

MarketingMarketing Strategy

Image of four people facing to the left during a Price March event. Image used for story with headline: LGBTQIA+ community supports brands that support them

Mircea Iancu/Pixabay

Horowitz Research has released pretty strong consumer information showing that brands that support the LGBTQIA+ community do see a solid payoff.

When brands include transgender or nonbinary people in their ads, 42% of adults aged 18 to 34 say it has a positive impact, with 29% of those in the 35 to 49 age group also saying it’s a positive move. 

And, I suspect, that level of brand support from consumers will only increase as these population segments age.

Collectively, 38% of all consumers say brands’ support of the LGBTQIA+ community has a positive influence on purchases.

The research firm’s “State of Media, Entertainment & Tech: FOCUS LGBTQIA+ and FOCUS Generation Nextwas published to coincide with last Friday’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

Credit: Horowitz Research

While representation in marketing is one way to show support, there are deeper ways. As with all inclusive and multicultural marketing, research-based messaging tied to nuances of targeted demographics soundly resonates. 

In addition to research, it helps if brand and agency staffs are diverse. This helps in two ways.

One is that it offers a range of perspectives to ensure that content and messaging are not tone-deaf, insulting or relying too much on stereotypes.

Second, it shows that brands do not just focus on representation within marketing; they practice what they preach.

“There are specific actions companies can do within their organizations to show they support LGBTQIA+ people, including their own employees, such as by ensuring they have inclusive policies around the use of pronouns and family leave policies that work for LGBTQIA+ families, as well as a strong track record of hiring and developing LGBTQIA+ employees,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz executive vice president and Insights & Strategy lead.

The Horowitz infographic notes upfront that there are more than 500 anti-LGBTQIA+ bills across 40 states. The onslaught of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation in the US – and those we may see in the future – offers good and poor opportunities for brands.

“If LGBTQIA+ rights continue to erode, those companies taking a clear position in support of LGBTQIA+ communities will stand out and likely enjoy strong endorsement from the community,” Waterston said.

If America becomes more supportive of the LGBTQIA+ community, then logically, those brands will stand out less, which could lead more brands to stand with the community. 

That definitely would be a good thing.

Regardless of where our legislators take the country, the Horowitz report demonstrates that the actions of brands can stand out – as can the actions of the communities they support.

“What corporate America does can have a direct and very real impact on the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community,” Waterston said.

“In today’s digital age, it is difficult for corporate America to hide what they do with their corporate policies and lobbying dollars, so consumers who care will continue to make informed choices about the brands they support,” Waterston added.


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