Pride Month — Inclusivity Beyond a Campaign
Brands around the world take on the colours of the rainbow once a year in a show of support for LGBT Pride Month. Over time however, the colours get a little murky. Brands can fall into the trap of capitalising on a movement for financial gain. So what does that do to customer trust and brand loyalty?
Superficial support = superficial trust
The fact of the matter is this: when a brand shows only superficial support for a cause, they only get superficial trust in return; if they get any trust at all. A brand that capitalises on the euphoria of a global movement like Pride Month without investing deeper meaning into their support of the marginalised community is not a trustworthy brand to the eyes of their customers.
Audiences today are an incredibly discerning generation of customers. With the internet at the tip of their fingers, it’s very easy for them to do a quick check on your brand’s history with supporting movements like LGBTQ+ rights.
Diversity in your campaigns
Showing your support for Pride Month doesn’t begin and end with rainbow-themed products and logos. It also shouldn’t be a one-off thing done for one month out of the year.
A visible show of support is well and good. However a conscious effort of integrating diversity and inclusivity at every tier of your business helps emphasise your brand’s dedication to the cause, and in turn, build trust with your customers. Showcase diversity in your campaigns. Marketing campaigns that embrace diversity reach an even broader scope of audience and builds a strong sense of customer trust and loyalty. Brands like Target and Absolut Vodka have taken a stance as pro-LGBTQ+, and showcase it through their marketing campaigns.
Absolut, for example, has been an open and active supporter of the LGBTQ+ community for over three decades. They recently collaborated with Stonewall, Britain’s largest LGBT charity to back their vital efforts of transforming the lives of the community and their continuous efforts of fighting for equality.
Hearing the people
Customer feedback and reviews are vital to a business’ success; but even more so when your brand is handling marketing campaigns that address delicate subjects like race or sexual orientation. There will always be naysayers ready to criticise your brand for doing anything that even mildly contradicts their own personal beliefs, but those are not the voices you should be listening to.
If your campaign strikes a nerve within the community, listen to what they have to say and learn from mistakes. A campaign faux-pas isn’t always easily forgiven, but customers are more inclined to give brands a second chance if they see a true willingness to change.
Your willingness to engage and communicate with your niche audience showcases your brand’s dedication to its cause. In doing so, you further cultivate trust and loyalty among your customers.
Show and tell
Being a vocal ally of movements like Pride Month takes more than just a perfunctory statement of “I’m with them!” Take a page out of Verizon’s book. Not only does this telco giant have a long-standing partnership with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), but they have shown persistent and consistent support of the LGBTQ+ community via their positive stance on state marriage-equality legislation to providing HR benefits to LGBTQ+ employees, including assistance to would-be adoptive parents.
Enduring support = enduring loyalty
Pride Month is all about visibility and inclusivity. Showing your enduring support as a brand to social issues like the LGBTQ+ movement lets your customers know that your business is a progressive and trustworthy brand worth their loyalty. It shows them that your brand cherishes its customers, and in turn, they will cherish your brand the same.