How far are you from understanding this relationship? – WAU
The LGBT + community has demands far beyond those simply focused on consumption, and the guidelines regarding their rights need to be considered by companies. Understand what she expects and learn what your brand should consider when positioning itself for this audience.
In recent times, more and more companies have included LGBTI + representation in their speech. The topic is no longer new in the marketing universe, but it continues to arouse more and more interest.
But don’t think it’s simple: the attention of the LGBTI + audience is not just focused on the offer itself.
This audience understands that it can directly reflect on society, the economy and the environment. That is why, it puts attendance to its guidelines as a determining factor, both for the consumption decision and for their satisfaction.
Throughout this reading, you will discover more details about the relationship that surrounds the history of the demands of the LGBTI + movement and the way that this audience evaluates and decides the brands it will consume today. Come on?
What does history have to teach about LGBTI + marketing?
Countless moments involving LGBTI + characters are recorded in history. However, we will stick to more recent facts, whose weight for the context we are discussing is greater.
Understand more below!
Stonewall Inn and the beginning of the fight against oppression
At the end of June 1969, there was a violent police raid at the Stonewall Inn bar, located in Village, New York. The bar was massively frequented by the LGBTI + public, and prejudiced and truculent approaches were common at that time – especially in such venues.
However, on this occasion, the bargoers resisted and clashed with the police. The revolt took to the streets the following morning, with demonstrations by several LGBTI + people.
And, what might be just a situation of fanfare, ended up taking a large proportion, generating a series of debates about the rights of this community.
From then on, new demonstrations took place in different places, and the community began to organize itself more and more in search of demands of its interest.
Five decades after the episode, there is a large organized movement around the world, defending the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people and other minorities in different ways.
What has changed from Stonewall so far?
The Stonewall rebellion is still seen as the starting point for LGBTI + liberation movements and activism for the cause, and the anniversary of the revolution – June 28 – has become the date for the celebration of International LGBTI + Pride Day.
Since then, some achievements have been achieved. From the withdrawal of homosexuality and transsexuality from the WHO International Register of Diseases (respectively in 1993 and 2018) to the recognition of same-sex unions, advances have taken place and several demands from the movements have been revised and adapted.
But the slowness in these advances, and conservatism in different layers of society, still make the focus on the movement remain the same. Even today, prejudice deprives LGBTI + people of acceptance, presence, freedom and even basic rights.
In the face of all this, the LGBTI + community seeks much more than simply celebrating individuality. Their struggle is to have their existence recognized, respected and valued in society. And the marketing actions that involve this audience cannot ignore this.
What should LGBTI + Marketing promote?
Studies indicate the LGBTI + public as one of the most profitable for business. According to a survey by Out Leadership, an international association focused on developing initiatives for this market, the financial availability of LGBTI + people in London is close to R $ 420 billion per year – which corresponds to about 10% of the country’s GDP.
With so much purchasing power in hand (and less ceremony to spend it), pink money has become a point of attention and has gained more weight in corporate planning. But winning and selling more to this audience is still a big challenge.
What do LGBTI + people expect from brands?
Considering that the LGBTI + market requires that issues other than individual ones be satisfied, marketing planning needs to deeply investigate the nuances of the causes that involve this audience.
It becomes necessary, then, to meet their needs as a social group, even before the focus becomes the enchantment and the conquest of consumer confidence. This can be worked on in different ways, as long as the base taken considers:
- naturalize the presence of LGBTI + people as part of society;
- propose more visibility to the LGBTI + public and the social demands it brings;
- helping to combat discrimination by raising public awareness of the social causes of those who make up the community;
- bring a discourse that proposes social inclusion and equal access opportunities.
And how do you meet those expectations?
Starting from the points above, some principles can be considered as key to avoid errors in LGBTI + public targeted Marketing. Let’s look at some of them:
1. Keep a message consistent with the expectation
One of the main theories of social communication (despite having fallen to the ground) is the hypodermic theory or theory of magic bullet.
She argues that, in mass communication, messages should reach all individuals in the same way and have a quick effect, just like an injection, hence the name, which refers to the hypodermic syringe.
It is very important to keep in mind that nothing that assimilates to this theory will apply to the LGBTI + community in terms of communication.
This is because, in addition to the various possibilities of approach, when it comes to sexual orientation and gender identity, LGBTI + people deal with their sexuality (and even their self-acceptance) at different levels, in addition to having different economic classes, ethnicities, regions, shopping habits, lifestyles, family constitutions, etc.
The groups and subgroups that make up the community are, by themselves, very heterogeneous. So, treating the LGBTI + community in a generic way, with conventional standards or based on stereotypes can be a big shot in the foot.
The brand that wants to explore this market must try to understand the specifics of its offer in view of the public’s expectations, and be as consistent as possible in its brand positioning and marketing actions.
Understanding in depth the details that correspond to your persona is crucial to navigate this universe.
2. Plan well, so as not to appear opportunistic
In such a conscious niche, and with such strong purposes, just wanting to earn your share of pink money is no simple task, and it can sound opportunistic even without being the intention.
The LGBTI + public tends to have more purchasing power, but it is also more demanding and attentive to issues related to the demands of its community. And with the debates of the cause increasingly on the agenda, having allies in the routine is a factor that is taken into account.
A brand can seriously damage its image with this portion of the public by trying to take advantage of it without generating anything in return.
The community expects a favorable positioning for diversity and support for its causes, and not just receiving attention on the dates when it can be sold through it.
Facade campaigns make positioning inconsistent, and you will be charged sooner or later.
If they really want to win the consumer loyalty that is included in this market, brands need to apply efforts to understand and structure an inclusive discourse, which can be used throughout the year.
3. Take responsibility when buying the speech
Because we live in a society where conservatism still prevails strongly, actions with LGBTI + representation or targeting this audience can generate buzz and, in certain situations, even crises involving the brands that propose to do so.
Therefore, the choice for the pro-diversity message must come in a genuine, natural way and aligned with what the company believes and practices.
The favorable speech is as important as the consistency of positioning in any negative responses that the company may receive to its actions. Without establishing this commitment, it will also be difficult to sustain the position of a brand that supports diversity.
For that, the keyword is preparation. It is important that the company recognizes the need to be ready to properly manage any type of crisis that may arise.
Marketing must also treat these cases with the utmost prudence, so that an adverse situation does not end up generating another type of problem.
4. Get involved with the audience to really understand them
One last and valuable tip to do well in this niche: when in doubt, ask.
The LGBTI + community is already the target of several prejudices and stereotypes, and the struggle to deconstruct them is part of their daily lives. A strategy that does not take this into account (or that, consciously or not, employs these precepts in a negative way) is bound to fail.
If you are not familiar with the LGBTI + public, but understand that your business may have more opportunities with it, try to involve it and know its needs more deeply, with actions such as:
- conduct research;
- look for reports;
- follow news;
- get closer to the reality of these people.
Every effort is valid to acquire knowledge of the cause.
It is worth mentioning the importance of efforts to compose a more diverse team in relation to this agenda.
Several studies prove that greater diversity in organizations comes with a series of business benefits. And having LGBTI + people on your team will help consolidate organic learning from these demands.
Did you notice any point in your marketing actions that could be useful for this niche? Do you see anything that can be done beyond the points we have pointed out? Share your learning with us in the comments!