Marketing Pride in 2021: How to be less performative and more meaningful.
Every year in June the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies join together globally for Pride Month which commemorates years of struggles for civil rights, continues the fight for equal rights and celebrates love.
Read on as we are going to discuss what meaningful marketing is and take a look at 5 brands that have gone beyond performative activism and have proven to be true allies of the LGBTQIA+ community.
What is Pink Money?
Pink Money as it is known in the UK represents the purchasing power of the LGBTQIA+ community which is worth $3.7 trillion globally (2019). The pink pound is worth approximately £6 billion a year to the British economy with 90% of gay people supporting businesses that target (and support) 'the pink pound' while anti-gay businesses are actively boycotted.
With the pink pound now worth so much to the economy, in recent years, we have witnessed a steep rise in rainbow washing.
Rainbow washing is when brands and businesses use the rainbow symbol or colours to show solidarity even though their internal policies and actions do not benefit LGBTQIA+ people.
An example of this is when businesses change their company logos to include the pride rainbow for the month of June but do not address internal issues, change policies to make spaces more inclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community or show any support to relevant charities. Consumers see right through rainbow washing and are looking to support brands that take real action.
True allyship goes beyond simply changing a logo, it is taking action and working towards real change that directly benefits the LGBTQIA+ community.
What is meaningful marketing?
Meaningful marketing is when the marketing means something to both the end customer and the marketer and goes beyond simply selling a product or service (although this could be the byproduct of a successful campaign).
Through meaningful marketing, a customers life should be made better in some way and value should be added. Some ways you could do this are by:
- Educating them
- Making them smile or amusing them
- Bringing to light causes or campaigns
- Helping them support a cause that is important to them.
Customers should feel connected to the brand through the campaign which means the strategy should be created with this in mind. Great strategies are based on data and analytics, combined with an in-depth understanding of what drives the buyer to take action. You must understand what your target audience wants/needs and what their pain points are.
5 Stand Out Brands
These 5 brands have proven to be true allies of the LGBTQIA+ community. Each brand has used meaningful marketing strategies to go beyond rainbow washing and fight for real change.
1 - Converse
Converse have been long term supporters of the LGBTQIA+ community. They work with longtime charity partners, It Gets Better Project, Ali Forney Center, BAGLY and OUT MetroWest. Past Pride Months have seen Converse collaborate with celebrities like Miley Cyrus. This year Converse has created a collection that represents everyone's individual journey to finding joy and freedom in being themselves.
2 - Levi's
Levi's has a 100% score on the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index as one of America's best places to work for LGBTQIA+ employees. This year they have released a collection that you cannot ignore, 'All Pronouns, All Love'. The LGBTQIA+ models pictured in Levi's campaign shared their lived experiences on the brand's website. The company is donating 100% of the net proceeds to OutRight Action International.
3 - Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's are the makers of everyone's favourite ice cream and they have a long history of commitment to social justice which includes gay rights. They are known for fighting for positive change in a number of areas. They believe that loving couples of all kinds should be free to marry. Ben & Jerry's continues to work with non-profits to ensure equality for LGBTQIA+ people (both inside and outside their company).
Crystal Head Vodka are big supporters of the LGBTQIA+ community all year round. This year they have created a limited edition version of their normal vodka bottle. They are donating $1 million to Boy's and Girl's Clubs of America to support youth arts programs in the United States.
5 - Tesco
You may not have expected to see Tesco on this list but they deserve to be. Tesco is the main sponsor of both London Pride and Brighton Pride. They are one of the Top 10 LGBTQIA+ employers in the UK and have one of the largest LGBTQIA+ colleague support networks.
Meaningful Marketing Takeaways
Each one of the 5 brands above has created a meaningful marketing campaign. They all have one thing in common, consistency. They support the LGBTQIA+ community all year round, not just during pride month. These brands also work to create a safe and positive space for employees to work in.
Some of the meaningful marketing strategies used include:
- Using a product to raise money for charity.
- Using a service to directly support the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Supporting employees and creating a safe workplace.
- Amplifying the stories and voices of the LGBTQIA+ community.
To sign off this blog, we thought we would leave you with some links to charities, events and useful resources that can help you actively support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Wishing you all a Bloom-ing Marvellous Pride Month from the Bloom team.