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What Brands Need To Know About the LGBTQ+ Community

What Brands Need To Know About the LGBTQ+ Community
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Fill out the form to download an excerpt from, “What Brands Need to Know About the LGBTQ+ Community”.

The LGBTQ+ community in America is young, fast-growing, and diverse. And it should be part of every brand’s growth strategy! Dive into our research for strategic insights on what makes this group unique and how you can connect with them to drive brand growth.

But it’s not enough to put rainbows on your advertisements and call it a day. LGBTQ+ consumers and their allies expect brands to back up their words with relevant donations, year-round support, and equality in internal company policy. And they need activations that feel authentic.

To help our members better understand and connect with the LGBTQ+ segment, we’ve created a study that leverages data from 2019 and 2020 Collage Group syndicated research initiatives, broken down by LGBTQ+ status and age groups. The centerpiece is our Cultural Attributes Profile, built from a dataset of almost 1,200 LGBTQ+ consumers!

We start off with some basic demographics of the segment, followed by their unique Cultural Attributes Profile. This profile reveals how they score on important characteristics including: anxiety, rootedness, exceptionalism, independence, adventurousness, and compliance. Then, we look at the LGBTQ+ segment’s influence profile, and specific social issues the group feels strongly about. Finally, our study concludes with a section on tips and takeaways for marketing to the LGBTQ+ segment. Below are three takeaways to get you started.

It’s no secret that America is quickly becoming more and more diverse. One fast-growing group is the LGBTQ+ community. Estimates show this segment includes at least 12 million American adults. And as laws change and societal acceptance increases, more and more people feel comfortable embracing their LGBTQ+ identities and are raising their hands to be counted. And they have money to spend – over $917 billion in purchasing power in 2017!

When you factor in LGBTQ+ allies—Americans that support the drive for greater LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance—the market size and spending balloon. Any brand that wants to succeed in 21st Century America needs to understand who these people are and how to connect with them.

Key takeaways include:

  1. The U.S. LGBTQ+ segment will continue to grow in both size and share of total population as society becomes more accepting of differing gender and sexual identities. Growth will be greatest among younger consumers who feel more comfortable self-identifying as LGBTQ+.

  2. LGBTQ+ consumers, across both the New Wave (18-39 years old) and 40+ segments, are similar in their core values to the New Wave as a whole. This is a result of New Wave consumers growing up in an inherently diverse society which celebrates and embraces once-marginalized identities.

  3. As LGBTQ+ stories and influencers captivate U.S. audiences, members and allies of this segment have higher expectations for authentic representations of LGBTQ+ individuals and content. This may result in accusations of “pinkwashing” when brands fail to meet these expectation

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Get on Top of 2020’s Hottest Upcoming genYZ Trend: Voting!

Get on Top of 2020’s Hottest Upcoming genYZ Trend: Voting!
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The 2018 U.S. midterm elections saw a dramatic increase in voter participation for younger generations. Here’s what brands and companies need to know about Millennial and Gen Z voter turnout to build consumer equity through the 2020 election and beyond.

We’re less than 100 days from the 2020 presidential election. Over the past weeks, we’ve heard many of our members ask what they can do to best activate on this major, and majorly controversial, occasion.  Our answer? Get out the vote.

Recent work by researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School reveals how leading brands have approached voter participation initiatives as part of a strategy for “meeting consumer expectations for engagement in social and political issues, raising brand awareness with new audiences, and increasing employee satisfaction.” In 2020, Gen Z and Millennial consumers will be at the heart of this strategy.

It has long been the conventional wisdom that younger Americans are less likely to vote than retirees who have fewer pressures on their time. But if you take a closer look at the data, a different story emerges – younger consumers value voting more than older generations did at their age.

Just look at voter participation rates. Comparing turnout in the first midterm and presidential elections for Gen X (1990 and 1988), Millennials (2006 and 2004), and Gen Z (2018 and predicted for 2020), we see a clear upward trend. While only 23 percent of eligible Gen X and Millennial consumers voted in their first midterms, 30 percent of Gen Z did. And Collage Group research estimates that at least 59 percent of eligible Gen Z consumers will cast their ballots in 2020, a significant majority compared to previous generations.

But the generational gap persists, which offers an opportunity for brands to step in and make a tangible difference. Only a slim majority of Millennials (51%) voted in the 2016 presidential election, with even fewer voting in 2018 (42%)

What does this all mean for brands and companies? If you want younger consumers to recognize your efforts in promoting social causes, voting must be top of mind. There are plenty of organizations you can partner with and support to accomplish this goal, including:

As part of either these strategic partnerships or your own campaigns, you need to be able to communicate effectively with youth consumers on the issues that matter to them. Out of the box thinking is needed to connect with potential voters who have not already been convinced by the existing messages thrown their way, and brands can take the lead in pushing for such innovation.

Celebrating Pride Month in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter

Celebrating Pride Month in the Age of #BlackLivesMatter
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Ongoing protests against racism and police violence in America have refocused Pride Month on its protest roots. Read on to discover how the LGBTQ+ community is engaging in support of #BlackLivesMatter.

June is Pride Month. And there is plenty for the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate – earlier this month, for example, the Supreme Court ruled that federal employment protections cover LGBTQ+ people. While only 8% of respondents to a 2019 Collage Group survey say they celebrate Pride Month regularly, this figure jumps to 18% for Gen Z. Young people are more likely than ever to be supportive of LGBTQ+ rights, and are far more likely than older generations to personally identify as LGBTQ+.

Recent years have seen ever-growing Pride Month celebrations, including parades across the world and recognition from many of the world’s biggest brands. In 2020, both the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing anti-racism protests make it impossible to celebrate Pride Month like usual. As gay rights have expanded and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community has grown, Pride Month has become something more akin to a party than a protest. This year, however, advocates encouraged people to remember that Pride has its roots in the struggle between marginalized communities, including communities of color, and the police.

On June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York City. The patrons resisted, and protests grew violent. Stonewall attracted a diverse clientele of people across the LGBTQ+ spectrum. While the exact sequence of events is fuzzy, many credit Black and Hispanic transgender women, including activists Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and Stormé DeLarverie with leading the fight that evening. LGBTQ+ people and allies from the surrounding neighborhoods flocked to join the protests, which lasted five days. The Stonewall Riots represented a turning point in the gay rights movement. Afterward, gay rights organizations and publications sprang up around the country. In 1970, the LGBTQ+ community marched through New York City on the anniversary of the riots, participating in what is widely thought of as the first Pride Parade.

Recognition of this history has led to increased activism. In our recent survey on racism and current events, we found that LGBTQ+ consumers are significantly more likely than non-LGBTQ+ consumers to have engaged in direct action in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement in recent weeks.

This segment’s activism has direct implications for brands and corporations. LGBTQ+ consumers are significantly more likely than non-LGBTQ+ consumers to believe companies have a responsibility to speak out against racism and advocate for changes in government policy.

And they are more willing to support those brands that do take a stand. 64 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents said they would be “more likely to buy products from brands and companies that take a stand against police violence,” in comparison to 47 percent of non-LGBTQ+ consumers.

If your brand wants to capture market share with the LGBTQ+ segment, remember that their fight for equality and civil rights has always existed in parallel, and often hand-in-hand, with the struggle for racial justice. That’s a strategy you can employ every month, not just in June.

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