LGBT consumers are the fourth largest GDP in the world, yet representation in adverts, on products and in messaging is still lacking. Businesses are often ahead of authorities when it comes to social change, many businesses implemented LGBT equality before it became law.
As with other Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) topics, such as sustainability and racial diversity, the acceptance of the LGBT community by businesses is something that consumers increasingly look for in the brands and products that they patronise.
Organisations such as the Human Rights Campaign support the LGBT community by producing a guide for all shoppers. In it, brands and businesses are identified by their support of the LGBT community allowing shoppers of all persuasions to make better informed decisions.
Beyond community support, members of the LGBT community want to see their lives and their relationships reflected in the products they buy and the advertising they consume. Brands that acknowledge different members of their audience live different kinds of lives are showing a level of emotional and social intelligence that resonates with people within and without the LGBT community.
No company should be mandated to include LGBT representation in the advertising or packaging, but doing so helps a product speak to a wider audience. When businesses outright block members of the LGBT community it ultimately only harms the business. Stories every year show prejudice from business owners leads to negative effects for their business.
When businesses operate on strictly business interests, rather than personal preferences, the LGBT consumer market can be a tremendous boost. As noted above, the community represents a significant amount of monetary swing.
2020 has been a tremendously disruptive year for all of us, personally and professionally, but this also opens out opportunities for us. We can look at where we shop, how we run our businesses, how we create our marketing and who we feature in our advertising.
By acknowledging the different aspects of audiences businesses create stronger bonds and elevate what they do to a level that reflects and respects the world we all want to live in.