Marketing during Pride Month used to be something expected that companies did in June. You’d change your logo to rainbow. You’d release a rainbow product. You’d make inclusive posts on social media. You’d announce inclusive policies for your company. But, things have changed in the past six years.
Now, showing support for the LGBTQIA2S+ community is a statement. Now, it’s progressive. Now, it feels like solidarity. Why? Well, it’s been quite the year.
Laws have made it nearly illegal for the transgender community to exist in certain states.
The Human Rights Campaign declared a state of emergency for the first time ever in their 40 years of fighting for LGBTQIA2S+ rights, due to over 75 anti-LGBTQIA2S+ bills being signed into law.
Even the Department of Homeland Security released a warning in May that the U.S. LGBTQIA2S+ community is currently facing an increased risk of extremist violence. In fact, LGBTQIA2S+ people are nine times more likely than non-LGBTQIA2S+ people to be victims of violent hate crimes, per the Williams Institute School of Law at UCLA.
Our community is under attack in a way that has never occurred in the 39 years of my life. So, why market to this community if there could be backlash? Why put money into reaching this community when “woke” is a dirty word? Why not just stay quiet and let the dust settle before making a move? Honestly—because we need your support now more than ever.
Also, it’s profitable.
A recent Forbes article discusses the benefits of supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ community, noting that “Taken as a whole, our empirical findings provide strong evidence to suggest that LGBT-friendly corporate policies enhance firm performance.”
“These findings can be considered to support the view that socially progressive corporate policies and diversity management pay off and create value for the firm,” the article continues.
“One explanation for both these findings and the correlation determined by the Finnish researchers from Aalto University School of Business and the University of Vaasa, is that employee retention and satisfaction tend to be higher in businesses where diversity is explicitly promoted, regardless of whether that relates to gender, race, sexuality, or another identifying characteristic.”
Also, the tides are clearly changing. According to recent market research from Toluna, two-thirds of Gen Z are worried about the future of LGBTQ+ rights, with a quarter saying they are “extremely concerned.”
If Gen Z is your audience—which it should be if you want to stay in business—then promoting equality for all will only make your brand stronger.
So, support the LGBTQIA2S+ community because it’s the right thing to do. It will help save lives, and make our most isolated members feel seen.
Also—support the LGBTQIA2S+ community because it’s just good business.