Great brands do more than sell a product or deliver a service. They create memorable experiences, inspire us to make a change or motivate us to live a certain way. It’s these sustainable brands that stand out from the competition and offer something more than the company down the street with a similar product.
Over the past few years, companies have begun to realize that there is no “one size fits all” when targeting consumers. Each demographic responds differently, and some have hidden simple truths that alter how you might think they should be communicated to.
Research proves that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) consumers are highly brand loyal and frequent gay-friendly businesses. In fact, 94 percent will go out of their way to purchase products or services marketed directly to them.*
But how do businesses begin to market to the largest affluent market in the United States? It’s simple: know your customer and market directly to them.
- The LGBT market includes more than 19 million people with more than $800 billion aggregate spending power in the United States (Witeck-Combs 2011 study).
- Their average household income is $81,500, or about 80 percent higher than typical U.S. households (2009 CMI study)
- LGBT consumers are highly brand loyal and will go out of their way to purchase products or services marketed directly to them (Greenfield Research & Kinsey Report)
Segment trends and insights
- 71 percent of gay men and 62 percent of lesbians own a smartphone**
- Attending LGBT events are key motivators within the LGBT community**
- Approximately 3 percent of gay men and 19 percent of lesbians indicated having children under 18 living at home**
Companies must begin by entering the conversation and then build brand loyalty. To do so, you must authentically communicate your message in a way that is sincere and targeted. Below are a few successful examples that I have experienced with clients.
- Join LGBT organizations, such as the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
- Offer discounts or specials to LGBT consumers
- Develop an LGBT email database of your customers and market directly to them with LGBT-branded advertisements
- Sponsor local, national or international Pride events
- Host a contest to send customers to a Pride event
What are some ways that you have targeted LGBT consumers? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us using the hashtag #mcgblog.
*Source: Greenfield Research & Kinsey Report
**Source: 16th Annual Gay & Lesbian Tourism Report, Community Marketing, Inc. December 11, 2011