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How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community

Collage Group was delighted to have hosted more than 100 consumer insights professionals for a conversation with diversity, marketing and research leaders from the American Cancer Society, Paramount Global, UnitedHealth Group / Optum and Pernod Ricard USA.

June 7, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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During this presentation, brand leaders shared real-world examples of how they are using diverse consumer insights to support the rights of and improving the lives of LGBTQ+ Americans.
    • Alexander Cammy, Manager, Insights & Cultural Intelligence, Paramount Global.
    • Gina Debogovich, Senior Director, Marketing, UnitedHealth Group / Optum.
    • Tawana Thomas-Johnson, Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, The American Cancer Society.
    • Katherine Chen, Manager, Multicultural & Inclusive Marketing, Pernod Ricard USA.

Read on and fill out the form for the replay and excerpt from our
Pride Month presentation.

The LGBTQ+ segment is a complex, multifaceted group that’s often ignored or misrepresented in advertising. In fact, more than six in ten LGBTQ+ consumers are not satisfied with how people of their sexuality are portrayed in advertising. But representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about the LGBTQ+ community.

Brands today must understand LGBTQ+ people on a multitude of levels—from their demographics to how they identify and even what they value—to effectively understand and engage them.

The Collage Group insights, presented by Senior Research Analyst Jill Rosenfeld, include results from a survey on the LGBTQ+ community’s lived experiences, demographic profile, and attitudes and behaviors specific to Pride Month.

The insights presented were created as part of our member research program, LGBTQ+ & Gender, launched in January 2021. As the leading source of consumer insights about diverse America, we are thrilled to share these insights into sexuality and gender identity with you.

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Other Recent LGBTQ+ Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

Jill is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2018 graduate from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers

Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers
Collage Group’s Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers presentation explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics and segment context, identity, and Group Traits.

May 26, 2022
Jill Rosenfeld – Senior Analyst

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LGBTQ+ Americans are a large and growing United States consumer segment in terms of population and visibility. They’re also very diverse, since LGBTQ+ people can (and do) come from every walk of life. Their racial and ethnic breakdown largely mirrors that of the general population, and while the segment does lean young overall, Americans of every age identify as LGBTQ+. Within the segment there is a great amount of diversity given the infinite sexual and gender identities encompassed under the umbrella of “LGBTQ+.”

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers presentation.

The LGBTQ+ segment is a complex, multifaceted group that’s often ignored or misrepresented in advertising. In fact, more than six in ten LGBTQ+ consumers are not satisfied with how people of their sexuality are portrayed in advertising. But representation alone is not enough to prove that your brand cares about the LGBTQ+ community.

Brands today must understand LGBTQ+ people on a multitude of levels—from their demographics to how they identify and even what they value—to effectively understand and engage them.

Collage Group’s Essentials of LGBTQ+ Consumers explores three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographicsidentity, and Group Traits to help your brand authentically connect with the LGBTQ+ community.

Download the attached presentations and watch the webinar replay below for more. In the meantime, take a look at a few key insights and action steps:

Key Finding #1: Demographics & Segment Context

The LGBTQ+ segment is large and growing – with current estimates ranging from 20 to 30 million Americans, the population has nearly doubled in the past 10 years.

Context:

The U.S. Census Bureau does not currently ask respondents their sexuality or gender identity in the official Census or American Community Survey. As a result, researchers rely on sources like Gallup and the new Household Pulse Survey for population data, with all these sources giving different estimates.

Action Step:

Do not ignore the LGBTQ+ segment and plan for its likely growth. Develop a strategy or grow your current efforts to connect with the segment through outreach and marketing.

Key Finding #2: Identity

LGBTQ+ Americans support brands that are committed to supporting their community and other diverse segments. They are also more likely than others to say that their gender and sexuality have become increasingly important parts of their identities in recent years.

Context:

Since LGBTQ+ people can come from any background, they want to see all the intersections of their identity addressed by your brand’s efforts.

Action Step:

To win over LGBTQ+ people, brands should demonstrate support for marginalized communities. Brands should also support social causes LGBTQ+ consumers care about.

Key Finding #3: LGBTQ+ Group Traits

There are four unique Group Traits important to understanding LGBTQ+ Americans: Proud, Empathetic, Communal, and Worldly.

Action Step:

Utilize the Group Traits as ways to connect with LGBTQ+ Americans authentically. For example, to activate on Empathetic, demonstrate how your brand takes social action to improve the lives of marginalized communities.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Other Recent LGBTQ+ Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Analyst

Jill is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2018 graduate from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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Insights for Authentic LGBTQ+ Representation in Media

Insights for Authentic LGBTQ+ Representation in Media
The LGBTQ+ segment is large and growing. An important part of connecting with the segment is understanding LGBTQ+ consumers’ preferences around advertising and media content. Read on for more information on how your brand can build a stronger connection with LGBTQ+ people through your advertising.

As the LGBTQ+ community grows in both size and visibility, LGBTQ+ people consider their sexuality to be more important to their identity than ever before. As a result, the segment expects more authentic representation in advertising and media.

Download the attached presentation and take a look at a few key insights and implications below:

Advertising

Including LGBTQ+ representation in advertising and showing support for the LGBTQ+ community matters to these consumers. LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to buy from brands that show support for LGBTQ+ people (60%) and feature LGBTQ+ people in their advertising (45%). LGBTQ+ consumers want to be seen as everyday consumers, just like everyone else, which is why it’s important for brands to normalize LGBTQ+ representation across all of their advertising campaigns, not just those for Pride Month.

Brands can also show support by addressing LGBTQ+ pain points specific to your product or service area, which can then be turned into an advertising campaign. An example of a brand excecuting this is Mastercard in their “True Card” ad campaign. In the ad, Mastercard details how True Name credit and debit cards help members of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and non-binary people, by allowing them to have financial products with their self-identified chosen first name.

Getting Involved

LGBTQ+-focused advertising campaigns should also be accompanied by social and political action. LGBTQ+ Americans, especially those who are younger, believe companies have an obligation to help make political and social change. Almost half of young LGBTQ+ respondents agreed that brands and companies should focus on social and political issues even if they don’t directly relate to their products or services. Overall, most LGBTQ+ respondents prefer brands to get involved by educating consumers about LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination. However, young LGBTQ+ people would also like to see brands hire more LGBTQ+ individuals in leadership positions and donate to LGBTQ+ causes.

Media

LGBTQ+ Americans are largely unimpressed with the current state of representation in movies and TV.  Almost half of the segment says most LGBTQ+ stories in films and TV are inauthentic and stereotypical.

Representation

LGBTQ+ Americans want to see more LGBTQ+ performers and LGBTQ+ creatives involved in the creative direction of LGBTQ+ stories, not only because representation is important but because it’s needed to create authentic stories.  LGBTQ+ people were most interested in seeing a more diverse range of LGBTQ+ people in entertainment media. This is especially important to those who are underrepresented today, like transgender and non-binary people. A quarter of LGBTQ+ Americans say they would like to see more stories of diverse groups of LGBTQ+ people, and this grows to 30% of transgender and non-binary people.

LGBTQ+ Americans Want Happy Stories

According to the data, almost half of the community feels that LGBTQ+ stories in entertainment focus too much on the hardships of the LGBTQ+ experience. Many LGBTQ+ people told us they want to see more content featuring LGBTQ+ people living happy lives that does not include homophobia.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Understanding and Embracing LGBTQ+ Terminology

Understanding and Embracing LGBTQ+ Terminology
The LGBTQ+ segment is large and growing. An important part of connecting with the segment is understanding and embracing LGBTQ+ terminology. Read on for more information on what terms the community prefers for group and individual identifiers, as well as how and when they prefer to use pronouns.

March 4th, 2021
Jill Rosenfeld – Data Analyst

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When talking about the LGBTQ+ community, there are seemingly endless acronyms, terms, and flags to choose from, and it can be difficult to know which ones to use. Getting terminology right is about more than saying the right word to refer to the right person, it’s about dignity and empathy. Terminology is really a matter of respect: saying I see you, and I affirm your identity. In our recent study, we focused on how the LGBTQ+ community uses community and individual identifiers, as well as pronouns. Continue reading for key insights on each.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our LGBTQ+  Terminology presentation.

Community Identifiers

At Collage Group, we use “LGBTQ+” to refer to any and all people who are anything except straight and cisgender – that is, people who are attracted to their same gender, multiple genders, people who don’t experience sexual attraction, transgender and non-binary people, and a whole host of others that fall under the “plus”.

To lay it out more specifically:

    • L and G: Lesbian and gay, those who are attracted to people of the same gender.
    • B: Bisexual, those attracted to multiple genders.
    • T: Transgender, a term different in kind than the previous three and referring to those who identify with a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth.
    • And finally Q+: Queer and questioning. And the plus refers to all the other labels out there – pansexual, asexual, non-binary, and beyond.

Collage Group uses this term because it allows us to be specific and inclusive, referring to the whole community and the subgroups. There’s a lot of ambiguity in acronyms like these, it’s hard to place firm definitions on people – Everyone is complicated, likely to change and famously resistant to being put in boxes!

When we asked the segment to choose their preferred terms, LGBTQ+ came out on top, followed by LGBTQ. Within subgroups, we see that younger and gender non-conforming people (those identifying as transgender and/or non-binary) were more likely to pick expansive options like LGBTQ+ and LGBTQIA+, and less likely to pick narrower terms like “gay community.” This data shows that young and gender non-conforming people – who are mostly, themselves, young – are more understanding of the diversity of the community and want to recognize it and call it out.

This focus on diversity also shows up in the evolution of the Pride Flag in recent years. While LGBTQ+ people are still most likely to use the traditional rainbow flag to represent the community, younger and gender non-conforming people are gravitating more towards the newer Progress and Intersex Progress Pride flags, which include colors to represent the transgender and intersex communities as well as people of color.

Young and Gender Non-conforming LGBTQ+ People Are Especially Likely to Use “LGBTQ+” as a Community Term

Which of the following terms do you most often use to describe the community of people who do not identify as straight/heterosexual and/or with the gender assigned to them at birth? (LGBTQ+ Respondents)

Total Ages 18-40 Ages 41-75 Gender Non-Conforming Gender Conforming
LGBTQ+ Community
27%
31%
20%
36%
25%
LGBTQ Community
19%
18%
19%
15%
19%
LGBT Community
13%
13%
13%
11%
14%
LGBTQIA+ Community
12%
15%
7%
15%
11%
Gay Community
10%
8%
15%
4%
12%
Queer Community
3%
3%
2%
8%
2%
GLBT Community
1%
0%
2%
1%
1%
I do not use any terms to refer to this community
13%
9%
20%
8%
15%

Individual Identifiers

When it comes to the terms people use to describe themselves, we see an incredible variety and some terms we might expect to be less common are actually resonating with a lot of people. The terms pansexual and queer were very popular (pansexual referring to being attracted to all genders). This reflects the growing idea that sexuality is fluid and people prefer not to put themselves boxes.

We also see 4% and 3% of LGBTQ+ people identifying as asexual and demisexual, respectively. These are terms for people who either do not experience sexual attraction (asexual), and people who only experience sexual attraction to people they feel an emotional connection to (demisexual). We also asked about aromantic and demiromantic. These terms refer to people who never or only sometimes experience romantic attraction.

The separation of romantic and sexual attractions opens a whole other world of terminology, and we could only fit in some of it in the survey. For example, someone might identify as asexual and panromantic, meaning they do not experience sexual attraction but can experience romantic attraction to people of all genders. That’s why we allowed people to choose more than one term here. The ways that people refer to themselves are infinite.

One important thing I need to point out here, based on our methodology, is that these percentages are not supposed to indicate the actual percentage of the LGBTQ+ population that identifies as each of these terms. Because we had a quota system in place to makes sure that we got enough sample from the L, G, B, T, and Q groups, we’ve ended up overrepresenting some and underrepresenting others.

For example, some estimates say that bisexual people make up more than half of the total segment, far more than the 37% of our sample. This likely means that there are even more pansexual and queer people out there too, because “bisexual” is the term more common in surveys and everyday life that these people whose sexuality is fluid or who are attracted to more than one gender are likely to choose.

Younger and Gender Non-conforming People Were More Likely to Choose Labels Including “Pansexual”, “Queer”, and “Asexual”

You mentioned that [previous answer] best describes your sexuality. But, we know those options may be too general to best describe you. From this longer list, which of the following do you identify with? (LGBTQ+ Respondents).

Total Ages 18-40 Ages 41-75 Gender Non-Conforming Gender Conforming
Bisexual
37%
35%
41%
36%
37%
Gay
29%
28%
30%
23%
31%
Lesbian
26%
26%
26%
15%
29%
Pansexual
10%
12%
6%
16%
8%
Queer
8%
11%
4%
17%
6%
Asexual
4%
5%
2%
9%
3%
Demisexual
3%
4%
1%
8%
1%
I'm not sure
2%
2%
2%
7%
1%
Demiromatic
2%
2%
1%
5%
1%
Aromantic
2%
2%
1%
6%
1%

Pronouns

Finally, we wanted to get an idea of people’s opinions about pronouns, and whether it’s appropriate to ask other people to tell you their pronouns. Pronouns are more than just grammar, they’re a part of our identities. About one third of LGBTQ+ people think that others should always ask for other people’s pronouns, and the same amount say that they always put their own pronouns in their social media profiles. A not-insignificant amount of non-LGBTQ+ people say the same – about a quarter of them. Even younger LGBTQ+ people, about half of them, agree that people should always ask for other people’s pronouns. And gender non-conforming people are the most likely of all subgroups to agree, at 65%.

One Third of LGBTQ+ People Say One Should Always Ask about Pronouns

The same number say they always include pronouns on social media profiles:

LGBTQ+ Non-LGBTQ+
People should always ask for other people's prounouns
36%
24%
I put my pronouns in all my social media profiles
36%
24%

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Other Recent LGBTQ+ Research Articles & Insights from Collage Group

Jill Rosenfeld

Jill Rosenfeld
Data Analyst

Jill is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2018 graduate from the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. In her spare time, Jill enjoys exploring Washington DC’s restaurant scene and practicing yoga.

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Insights You Need to Engage and Activate Parents and Kids Across Race and Ethnicity

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Insights You Need to Engage and Activate Parents and Kids Across Race and Ethnicity
Collage Group Launches Parents & Kids Cultural Intelligence Program

American consumer attitudes continue to evolve, and to help you keep pace, Collage Group is incredibly excited to announce our new Parents & Kids Program as part of our leading Cultural Intelligence Platform. This new offering, created with input from nearly a dozen Collage members, is designed to cover the insights marketing and consumer insights professionals need to engage and activate parents and kids across race and ethnicity. Based on our scoping, there is no other syndicated resource available that offers full coverage of parents and kids with race and ethnicity overlays.

Fill out the form below for more details on the new program, including reporting breakouts and content.

Why focus on Parents & Kids?

Demographic change amplifies the need to effectively resonate with America’s diverse parents and their children. In fact, the generations most likely to have children are between 5 and 12 percent more racially and ethnically diverse than older generations.

And, multicultural Americans are 10% more likely to have children under 18 living in their households.

Household with Children Under 18 Present Average Household Size
40% Hispanic
3.4 Hispanic
34% Asian
3.0 Asian
27% Black
2.6 Black
23% White
2.4 White

For many brands, the age of kids is also especially important given the development of decision-making processes–our research will dig deeper into this area. From birth to age 3 children are largely dependent on parental decision-making. As children age, they develop more capacity to make their own decisions.

What’s included in the Parents & Kids Cultural Intelligence Program?

Starting this spring, our new Parents & Kids Program will unveil how culture impacts the roles that moms and dads play in their children’s lives, with insights including:

    • the parenting style(s) they embrace
    • the values they prioritize instilling in their kids
    • how they navigate the impact of the changing media landscape and shifting social norms on their children

The Program also provides insight into how the culture, age and gender of the child impacts parental attitudes and behaviors, including:

    • how they respond to their children’s preferences and desires
    • how they select products and services for their kids across category
    • when and how they “hand-off” decision-making to their kids across category

Collage Group is committed to conducting specific research on both parents and kids to provide unparalleled insights, as many brands have a significant gap in their understanding of the way culture impacts parenting and the parent-child decision-making process. We hope you’ll find value in this new research.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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Health and Wellness Across Gender

Health and Wellness Across Gender
Men and Women have unique perspectives, needs, and experiences related to health insurance and health care. Keep reading for key insights, and a downloadable deck to help your brand or organization better connect with these segments.
 

Americans are increasingly embracing a consumer mindset when it comes to healthcare. Men and Women alike are shopping around, comparing prices, and seeking more information than they have in the past. They are doing this because heath care has changed – it has expanded choice and shifted costs.

To win in this constantly evolving space, brands and organizations need to understand men and women’s unique health-related perspectives and how they impact their engagement with health insurers and providers.

Collage Group’s 2021/2022 Health & Wellness Study leverages data captured from more than 3,500 Americans to help brands understand how health-related attitudes and behaviors differ by gender. Our research reveals how an emerging consumer mindset impacts Americans engagement with both the health insurance and health care provider space. We explore barriers to insurance coverage, drivers and barriers to trust and satisfaction, provider preferences, receptivity to provider advice, and more.

Download the attached presentation and take a look at a few key insights and implications below:

#1: Affordability is the Top Barrier for the Uninsured

The high cost of healthcare for Americans is not news, we know that men and women both face increasing costs and are seeking ways to offset them. But for women, costs are even higher earlier in life, thanks to increased incidence of many chronic conditions, as well as the healthcare costs associated with their reproductive years. This leads many to cut costs by forgoing care or insurance altogether – lack of affordability is the top reason why uninsured women don’t have coverage.

Affordability is also the top reason why men don’t have insurance, albeit at a much lower rate. But what’s interesting – and actionable for healthcare brands – is that men are twice as likely as women to say that they don’t have health insurance because they don’t know how to purchase it. They’re also twice as likely to say they don’t have health insurance because they don’t need it.

Best Practice: The Nevada Health Link took a creative approach to attracting the cost conscious uninsured. Their creative campaign titled, “You Can’t Afford to Not Be Insured”, highlighted the savings insurance provides when faced with a variety of common ailments compared to paying out of pocket – presenting insurance as a relative value.

#2: Men Seek Insurance Partnership Through Communication

Communication with their health insurance provider is particularly important for New Wave Men – those who are 26-41 in this study. When asked what insurance companies might do to be seen as a partner rather than a barrier in improving health, New Wave men were significantly more likely to say “If I had a person at the insurance company I could easily communicate with.”

New Wave Men Seek Insurance Partnership

Best Practice: The state of Minnesota health insurance exchange, or “MNSure”, recently ran a campaign highlighting the communication support provided to those seeking to enroll. MNSure utilizes a network of “assisters” who provide 1:1 support on social channels, year round. The ads seen below were designed to be shared by the assister network across social channels, so individuals could reach out to the assisters directly to receive support, or through the provided contact information.

MNSure Highlights Certified Navigators

#3: New Wave Women Have Endured Negative Healthcare Services, Leading to Lower Healthcare Satisfaction  

Of all segments we looked at in this study, younger women (26-41yrs old) have the lowest level of satisfaction of their health care providers. And the unfortunate truth behind this number seems to be that they have simply had more negative experiences with health care providers in the past. In fact, younger women are significantly more likely to have experienced literally every negative experience we asked about – from doctors rushing through visits and not listening to them, to lifestyle judgment and pressured decision making.

The silver lining of the negative experiences women have had in the past is that they now know what they want from health care providers. Women want personalized care, from doctors who understand their unique healthcare needs, and they want it delivered in a way that is efficient and effective.

Young women most likely to receive bad service

Best Practice: Recognizing that the needs of women weren’t being completely met through traditional providers, Maven Health set up gap-filling coverage tailored to the needs of women. Maven provides detailed information from the comfort of an app, but also personal concierge service and virtual visits with regular providers to ensure women get the personal support they want.

Health care preferences

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Health and Wellness Across Sexual Identities

Health and Wellness Across Sexual Identities
LGBTQ+ Americans have unique perspectives, needs, and experiences related to healthcare that brands must understand. Keep reading for key insights, a downloadable deck, and webinar replay that will help your brand or organization better understand and connect with these segments.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our Health and Wellness Across Sexual Identities presentation.

Rapid changes in societal norms over the past several years are continuing to pave the way for a more inclusive and welcoming America. The greater acceptance many young people now experience affords an opportunity to openly identify as LGBTQ+ with less risk for social stigma and discrimination. As a result, we continue to see growth in the number of Americans who identify as LGBTQ+. To win in this constantly evolving space, brands and organizations must understand LGBTQ+ Americans’ unique health-related needs and how these impact their engagement with health insurers and providers.

Collage Group’s 2021/2022 Health & Wellness Study leverages data captured from more than 3,500 Americans to help brands understand how health-related attitudes and behaviors differ by sexual identity. Our research reveals how an emerging consumer mindset impacts Americans engagement with both the health insurance and health care provider space. We explore barriers to insurance coverage, drivers and barriers to trust and satisfaction, provider preferences, receptivity to provider advice, and more.

Take a look at a few key insights and implications:

#1. The LGBTQ+ population is less likely to have health insurance than others. Affordability issues and distrust in health care have led to lower insurance rates among LGBTQ+ Americans. Position yourself as a partner in their health journey and prove yourself trustworthy by offering targeted services to address their unique needs

LGBTQ+ are more likely to be uninsured

Best Practice: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island is addressing LGBTQ+ Americans’ barriers to coverage with an easy to find resource page on their website to connect patients with providers that are inclusive and LGBTQ+ friendly.

BCSBRI has its own LGBTQ+ safe zones

#2: LGBTQ+ Americans are less satisfied with their current medical care in part because of past negative experiences. More poor interactions with health care providers leads to avoiding care in the future and, ultimately, poorer health outcomes (see the full presentation for supporting data and details on the LGBTQ+ experience with health care).

LGBTQ+ are more likely to have negative doctor experiences

#3: LGBTQ+ Americans want affirming care that is sensitive to their unique needs, but they don’t need to see LGBTQ+ providers to get that level of care. Make sure your providers and staff are trained in culturally competent care for the LGBTQ+ community.

OutCare provides Online Culturally Competent Training

Best Practice: In addition to providing various resources – like an LGBTQ+ friendly provider list – OutCare offers online training to help health care providers develop cultural competency for the segment. Trainings like these are a great way to increase the quality of care provided to LGBTQ+ individuals.

OutCare provides Online Culturally Competent Training

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America Now: Younger LGBTQ+ Americans Have High Expectations for Brands

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America Now: Younger LGBTQ+ Americans Have High Expectations for Brands

This research is part of a series that expands on our 2021 Roundtable Presentation, America Now. Read on to learn more about LGBTQ+ consumers, their perspective on gender and sexual identities, and what they expect from brands like yours.

Brands can better engage with consumers by understanding how they view different aspects of their own identity. Race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, and gender are just a few of the many elements of a person’s identity impacting how people see themselves and shaping their expectations for brands. LGBTQ+ Americans, especially those who are younger, tell us that their sexuality is becoming an increasingly important aspect of their identity. As a result, brands have to step up their inclusive marketing practices and oftentimes that means deftly engaging with social and political issues.

In a recent survey, Collage Group asked people to choose the most important aspect of their identity. Personality came out on top, followed by race, and country of origin. Just 8 percent of LGBTQ+ people responded that sexuality is the most important aspect of their identity. However, the importance of sexual identity is on the rise for this segment. Over 50 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents agree that their sexuality has become an increasingly important part of their identity in recent years. This is especially true for those between the ages of 18 and 40 years old. Younger LGBTQ+ are also significantly more likely to say their sexuality plays an increasingly important role in their identity than older LGBTQ+ Americans.

Importance of Sexual Identity for LGBTQ+ People

As sexuality becomes a more important element in how LGBTQ+ see themselves, brands must improve their efforts to accurately represent sexuality and gender in advertising — especially when targeting younger and multicultural LGBTQ+ consumers. Only 39 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents say they’re satisfied with portrayals of their sexuality in advertising, significantly less than the approximately 53 percent of non-LGBTQ+ respondents who agree. Seeing their own sexual identity portrayed in advertising matters a lot to 42 percent of young LGBTQ+, significantly higher than older LGBTQ+ respondents. Similarly, for gender portrayals, over a third of all LGBTQ+ say it matters a lot to see advertisements with people of the same gender identity. Doing this comes with great benefits, as young LGBTQ+ are more likely to buy products and services from brands that challenge gender stereotypes in their advertisements.

LBTBQ+ Americans identify more with their sexuality

Beyond mere representation in advertising, LGBTQ+ consumers also desire to see brands engage in social and political issues impacting their community. About 40 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents agree that brands should focus on social and political issues even if they don’t directly relate to their products and services. 

Overall, most LGBTQ+ respondents prefer brands to get involved by educating consumers about LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination. However, young LGBTQ+ consumers would also like to see brands hire more LGBTQ+ in leadership positions and donate to LGBTQ+ causes.

America Now - LGBTQ and Identity - Collage Group

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LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption

LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption

Optimize your brand’s connection with LGBTQ+ consumers by understanding where they consume media content, and why they go where they do. Keep reading for key insights on social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming, with downloadable deck and webinar replay.

Media is a major aspect of American life. Whether it’s social media, visual entertainment, or audio content, Americans spend a significant amount of time and attention in the media sphere. The time and attention spent on media presents an awesome opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. But to do this efficiently and effectively, brands need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

    • Are they following specific topics?
    • Are they following influencers?
    • Are they looking for products to purchase?
    • Are they just killing time?
    • Is it device dependent?
    • Does it depend on the race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender of the characters or hosts?

Collage Group’s 2021 Media Study answers these questions. Our research reveals the specific platforms LGBTQ+ media users go to, and what they’re using them for. The research also deep dives into content and platform drivers, including topics of interest and what consumers value in the personalities (e.g., influencers, podcast hosts, characters) they interact with across social, visual, and audio media.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on attitudes and behaviors around LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption.

LGBTQ Consumer Media Consumption

Social Media

Key Insight: LGBTQ+ consumers are more comfortable making new friends online and are more likely to use social media to find community.

Community is essential to understanding LGBTQ+ consumer behavior online. Social media allows LGBTQ+ Americans to connect with other people who understand what they are going through and who can offer support. Social media also provides members of the segment the ability to share their stories and learn more about their identities. Because of the benefits that social media offers them, LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to make friends online than Non-LGBTQ+ Americans, and more likely to consider those friendships just as important as “in real life” friendships.

Online Community Poll

Visual Media

Key Insight: LGBTQ+ viewers of all ages use significantly more streaming platforms per person, on average, than Non-LGBTQ+ viewers.​

While all groups are likely to use multiple visual streaming platforms to access the content they want to see, LGBTQ+ Americans use more platforms. Younger LGBTQ+ viewers use the most streaming platforms out of all the groups. They are also least likely to say that they feel overwhelmed by the number of platforms available nowadays.

LGTBQ Steaming Use Poll

Audio Media

Key Insight: When choosing podcasts and radio shows, LGBTQ+ listeners are more likely to prefer those with hosts who share their sexual identities.​

Four in ten younger LGBTQ+ Americans and three in ten older LGBTQ+ Americans say that it’s very important for podcast and radio hosts to share their sexual identities, significantly more than Non-LGBTQ+ people. Shared gender identity is also important to about four in ten young Americans, both LGBTQ+ and Non-LGBTQ+. Shared identities are also important to LGBTQ+ Americans when choosing TV shows and movies to watch and influencers to follow on social media.

The Search for community online

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Connect with Americans across Gender and Sexuality around the Holidays

Connect with Americans across Gender and Sexuality around the Holidays

LGBTQ+ Americans are especially excited about life getting back to normal so they can participate in public events and celebrate Pride. 

Our latest LGBTQ+ & Gender Holidays & Occasions webinar is an introduction and overview of our research stream that looks at the holidays and occasions that matter most to Americans across sexuality and gender. Read below for a few highlights from the presentation.

1. LGBTQ+ People Hold Significantly More Progressive Views on Marriage Proposals

Two-thirds of All Americans Believe that Women Can Propose Marriage to Men.

2. One in Two Men Enjoy Being the “Grill Master” at Barbecues.

Women are far less likely to enjoy being in charge of grilling duties.

3. Costumes and Costume Parties Play a Much Larger Role in the LGBTQ+ Community’s Halloween Celebrations.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of just for you

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