With the ascendancy of Trump and his merry band of conservative and often staunchly anti-LGBT appointees, many people in the LGBT community are deathly afraid that their hard-won rights will be rolled back. And with good reason. Trump’s Vice President signed into law a “religious freedom” bill in his home state that allowed businesses to refuse to serve LGBT people on “religious” grounds. He also strongly supports “conversion” therapy. Trump’s nominee for Attorney General is known for his racist and anti-LGBT views. Many of Trump’s Supreme Court nominees are rabidly anti-LGBT, putting same-sex marriage and other rights in danger.
In this dangerous environment for many minorities, how will that affect marketing campaigns to the LGBT community?
While many companies jumped on the LGBT bandwagon in 2015 and 2016, after the same-sex marriage law was passed, the true test will be if these (and other companies) continue to support the LGBT community in darker times.
The LGBT community will be looking for support, and will be more loyal to companies that support them – especially now.
The LGBT community already tends to be brand loyal:
- 55%of LGBT consumers will do business with companies that are committed to the diversity/equal treatment of the LGBT community.
- 70%of LGBT adults would pay a premium for a product from a company that supports the LGBT community.
- 78%of LGBT adults and their friends, family and relatives would switch to brands that are known to be LGBT-friendly.
But in this more repressive era, the LGBT community will likely be even more receptive and loyal to LGBT-friendly brands, because they will understand (and remember) who their true allies are.
Savvy companies won’t just spend promotional dollars towards the LGBT market, though, they will speak out publicly in support of LGBT issues (e.g. bathroom bills, religious freedom bills, etc.). Leaders of these companies realize that their own companies also have LGBT employees, and it is important to engender loyalty from them as well. This is why companies like Angie’s List, Dow Chemical, SalesForce.com, Walt Disney, et al spoke out publicly against Indiana’s “religious freedom” law.
Several years from now, when the tide turns back and the mood is more progressive in this country again, those companies and brands that stood by the LGBT community during the Trump years will be head and shoulders ahead of the competition with the LGBT market.
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 Community Marketing, Harris Interactive