78% of LGBT consumers and their families and friends actively switch to brands that are known to be LGBT-friendly, according to Community Marketing Inc. and Harris Interactive. This makes it an ideal time for members of the LGBT community to build their brands and ride the positive movement. So what sort of methods exist to create an LGBT-friendly brand?
Establish Inclusive Strategies In The Workplace
To become an inclusive brand, the practice must exist within the company’s work culture. A great way to start that is through the leaders. Practicing inclusive leadership is one of the effective strategies to create an inclusive workplace, according to Harvard Business Review. When the leaders can espouse LGBT-inclusive practices, their LGBT employees can convey the pride and joy they feel in the product they create. When the very employees are active and vocal ambassadors of the brand’s inclusivity, consumers are more likely to believe the authenticity of the brand being LGBT-friendly.
Create Marketing Campaigns That Showcase Equality
Around 41% of online shoppers will veer their business away from brands and retailers that do not reflect inclusivity and diversity in their media, according to Accenture. For any up-and-coming brand dabbling in ecommerce, they can effectively showcase that they are LGBT-friendly by creating marketing campaigns that emphasize equality. For example, this can be done by utilizing models that are members of the LGBT community in their ad campaigns. Tapping into their consumer base or even their workforce for authentic LGBT stories and intertwining their brand message with it is also effective. Some good examples of an effective marketing campaign to show equality are the Hilton Group’s “Stay Hilton. Go Out.” campaign and Burger King’s The Proud Whopper campaign. In a single brushstroke, the brands positioned themselves as LGBT-friendly and generated a positive relationship with a wide array of consumers. Budding brands can do likewise.
Connect With Other LGBT-Friendly Brands
No person is an island, and the same holds true for businesses. A brand that wishes to be LGBT-friendly can use networking to their advantage. Connecting with other brands that have an established pro-inclusivity and pro-diversity stance is a good way to do this. Working with like-minded organizations helps to truly drive change, as businesses help hold each other accountable, according to Colette Comerford of Legal & General Investment Management. Such a connection can help budding brands learn how successful LGBT-friendly businesses managed to become movement leaders. They may also internalize and apply LGBT-friendly business practices to improve their current processes. Creating a meaningful connection with established LGBT-friendly brands can also give a sort of “seal of approval” that can help consumers warm up to new brands faster.
Building an LGBT-friendly brand isn’t just smart business; it’s also the right thing to do. With consumer preferences being an integral part of building a brand, being inclusive is a great way for businesses to convey that consumers and their LGBT workforce are valued and respected. The key to authentic LGBT-inclusive branding involves systemic involvement from the lowest to the highest brackets of a business’s infrastructure.
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