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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
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Why Brands Want LGBT Consumers
From national corporations to local brands, more businesses are shifting their marketing efforts toward LGBT consumers. Whether it’s Subaru’s “It’s Not A Choice. It’s The Way We’re Built” tagline or Oreo’s viral “Rainbow Creme” image, companies are spending heavily on marketing to reach a segment of the population that was virtually ignored by advertisers just a few years ago. Is this a reflection of changing attitudes toward the LGBT community, or have marketers simply realized that LGBT consumers are a valuable segment of the market?
Chances are, it’s a little of both: as LGBT visibility grows, smart brands realize the value of appealing to this demographic, introducing new campaigns aimed at LGBT consumers while improving outreach and encouraging equality. With marriage equality legalized throughout the country, even more companies are sure to tailor their messages and even their products to appeal to LGBT consumers.
New #LGBTmarketing campaigns improve outreach and encourage equality. #LoveIsLove Click To Tweet
The Buying Power of LGBT Consumers
In nationwide surveys, LGBT consumers have consistently out-earned and outspent their straight counterparts. In addition to generally being better informed about their purchases, research shows that LGBT buyers tend to have much more disposable income. While the reasons behind this are still up for debate, the numbers don’t lie:
- Buying – LGBT consumers in the United States have an estimated combined buying power of $830 billion.
- Shopping – According to Nielsen research, LGBT households make 10% more shopping trips annually than average U.S. households.
- Spending – Additionally, LGBT consumers spend more on those trips: an average of $4,135 at retail stores, outpacing non-LGBT households by 7%.
#LGBTconsumers have consistently out-earned and outspent their straight counterparts. Click To Tweet
No one is sure what impact marriage equality will have on the spending habits of LGBT consumers: will disposable income decrease as married couples have kids, or will spending increase in areas where LGBT consumers haven’t typically spent much of their income? There’s a good chance we’ll see increased marketing efforts toward LGBT families as they settle down and shift their spending habits.
LGBT Consumers Know Brands
Customer loyalty and brand loyalty are two of the most important factors in marketing, and research from both Nielsen and Harris Interactive has shown that LGBT consumers tend to be much more familiar with brands and corporations than straight buyers.
- Premium Price – Many surveys have shown an overwhelming majority of LGBT consumers prefer to support brands that align themselves with LGBT rights and interests, even if prices are higher.
- Tailored Ads – Half of adult LGBT consumers are more likely to consider a company’s product if advertisements are tailored to a gay audience.
- Workplace Equality – Corporate culture is important: LGBT consumers are much less likely to buy brands or shop at stores that don’t support equality in the workplace.
Most LGBT consumers will pay more for brands that align themselves with #LGBTrights. Click To Tweet
Brands are also acutely aware that advertising in spaces that are unfriendly to LGBT consumers can be toxic, driving away LGBT buyers and allies: when Dr. Laura Schlessinger made disparaging comments about gays and lesbians on her radio show, big brands like Xerox and Procter & Gamble immediately withdrew advertising to avoid any association with homophobia.
LGBT Consumers Are Social
It’s hard to overstate the impact social media has had on the marketing world in the last decade, and LGBT consumers have often been at the forefront of new technologies. LGBT consumers have changed everything, from the way brands interact with customers online to how members of the LGBT community are portrayed in the media.
- Set Trends – LGBT consumers are often considered “trendsetters.” Nielsen’s research shows that the growing number of LGBT viewers has helped shape LGBT visibility and the way LGBT characters are portrayed in the media.
- Support Rights – Many successful hashtag campaigns have specifically targeted LGBT consumers, such as Lush’s #GayIsOK campaign, which raised almost half a million dollars for LGBT rights.
- Get Social – Brands overwhelmingly supported gay marriage on social media, with everyone from Jell-o (with an image of a rainbow made of Jell-o squares) to HBO’s “Game of Thrones” getting in on the celebration.
LGBT consumers are trendsetters often influencing those outside the community. #GayBiz Click To Tweet
Considering that social media advertising and marketing has grown alongside wider visibility and marketing to LGBT consumers, it’s really no surprise to see brands on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook step up their efforts when it comes to reaching LGBT consumers.
The Future of Marketing to LGBT Consumers
We’ve come a long way in a short time, moving away from homophobic beer ads and toward marketing that embraces the full range of LGBT identities. For many brands, the trick is figuring out how to use the widely-available research on LGBT buying habits and markets to effectively reach LGBT consumers. The Human Rights Campaign has helpfully developed a set of “best practices” for brands hoping to tap into the LGBT market, with suggestions that include avoiding stereotypes and cliches, and encouraging diversity and inclusivity. It’s now up to brands to develop memorable and impactful LGBT-friendly ads and campaigns.