Written By: ShoppingGives and MuteSix
Pride Month, which stands for Promote Respect, Inclusion, and Dignity for Everyone, has arrived.
For MuteSix and ShoppingGives, two companies whose ethos are centered on inclusivity and equality, it’s a time to band together not just for celebratory parades, but for education on how brands can best commemorate this month with authenticity and the success that comes with it.
Like-minded companies wanting to be more vocal and authentic in their demonstrations of support for the LGBTQ+ community need to truly understand and appreciate the essence of the movement before incorporating Pride-themed campaigns into their marketing strategies.
In the last few years, there has been a significant uptick in support for Pride Month, as more people come to realize the importance of standing up for human equality. However, we still have a ways to go.
The good news is that businesses of all sizes are upping the ante and connecting with this movement on a deeper level, reaching the LGBTQ+ community in bigger, bolder, more bona fide ways. For these brands, the goal of their marketing campaigns is to truly connect with their intended audiences, eventually encouraging them to take action beyond simply buying their products.
Here, MuteSix and ShoppingGives dive deep into the heart of Pride Month to offer best practices for brands looking to place inclusivity and love at the forefront of all things Pride.
Before we jump into successful examples from our cause-conscious clients, let’s take a closer look at the LGBTQ+ community that companies are looking to support. The acronym “LGBTQ+” stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning. The “+” in the initialism is an acknowledgment that there are other identities that are not included in the commonly accepted acronym.
According to Gallup’s latest update, the LGBTQ+ community makes up approximately 5.6% of the U.S. population, up from 4.5% in 2017. The LGBTQ+ demographic also accounts for more than $1 trillion purchasing power, and it is the fastest-growing market right now, with the potential to grow by additional millions within the U.S. over the next few years, according to Forbes.
Each year throughout June, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride Month in memory of The Stonewall Riots, which were demonstrations that took place in June 1969 in response to a police raid that sparked the Pride movement.
The police raids that targeted this minority community spurred an uprising and revolt against discrimination that led to the creation of Pride Month.
For companies still wondering whether or not they should take action and publicly support the LGBTQ+ community, here are three reasons to do so:
Trying to make the world a safer, more fair place for everyone is the ultimate goal. Companies should use their influence to bring awareness to the discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals because, well, it’s the right thing to do. To avoid the perception of being opportunistic or exploitative, once you commit to supporting the LGBTQ+ community, focus on advocating in an authentic way for the long haul.
LGBTQ+ individuals are constantly exposed to discrimination, which is why they’re especially sensitive and careful in the selection of the brands they support. According to the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, 78% of LGBTQ+ adults and their friends and family favor brands that are known to be LGBTQ+-friendly.
According to Fortune, nearly half of Americans (and 64% of those who identify as LGBTQ+ allies) say they are more likely to spend money with brands that are inclusive of this community. Supporting it will put you on the radar for consumers that care about equality and diversity—and this number is growing by the day.
The support doesn’t have to end in June, either. Being a true LGBTQ+ supporter year-round, not just during Pride Month, will show consumers that you are fully invested in advocating for this growing community so receptive of support.
Businesses that want to leverage their influence to spread a message of love and acceptance should take actions that create a significant difference. Otherwise, they may risk being perceived as inauthentic, or that those actions are an act of tokenism.
Here are some ways businesses can support the LGBTQ+ community in a meaningful way.
The change starts from the inside. No matter how much you support the LGBTQ+ community, the true change happens when you create an LGBTQ+-friendly workplace.
Data from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation shows that 72% of full-time employees said they would leave an organization for one they thought was more inclusive.
Before taking public actions, make sure your organization offers equal rights for everyone.
Your staff is the face of your company, so training them on diversity and inclusion is essential. Creating rules and policies is the first step, but training your staff to reflect those company values in everyday interactions is what makes a lasting change.
Companies that fail to align their company cultures with staff executing customer-facing interactions may ultimately lose customers.
One common mistake brands make is showing superficial support during Pride Month. Having rainbow-themed products in June is not enough. If you decide to include special products in support of this cause, make sure to get input from the segment of your community that would identify with the campaign, so it’s not seen as tokenism and it doesn’t come across as insensitive.
Since the goal of having a Pride collection is raising awareness and not just increasing revenue, you should also consider donating the money to an organization that fights for LGBTQ+ rights. More on that below.
Another way to garner more interest and be more vocal in fighting against the discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community is with advertising.
Data from Google shows that 71% of LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to interact with an online ad that authentically represents their sexual orientation. What’s more, 68% of LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand with advertising that positively reflects a variety of sexual and gender orientations.
Businesses that want to support the LGBTQ+ community in a meaningful and authentic way should consider donating to charities that support the Pride movement. As consumers increasingly become more aware of which brands they support via cause marketing, donating to a Pride-related cause can help brands differentiate and stay top of mind with these conscientious consumers.
With ShoppingGives, for example, donating to causes that support the LGBTQ+ community is simple and straightforward. Integrating ShoppingGives on your e-commerce websites creates a seamless and native giving experience for customers as they make everyday purchases.
The premium CBD brand Highline Wellness is driven by the belief that everyone deserves happiness and wellness. These are not just empty promises: Aside from providing the highest-quality, natural, affordable, and effective CBD supplements, they also support different causes through donations.
To show support for the LGBTQ+ community, they’re leveraging ShoppingGives to donate 1% on every order beginning this month. The donations will be split across four causes:
Enso Rings, designer of stylish silicone rings and bracelets, is another brand that stands with the LGBTQ+ community. To show support in a meaningful way, they’ve created Pride Bracelets.
For each one purchased, Enso Rings will donate $2 to Encircle—an organization that builds safe spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, young adults, and families.
By buying a Pride Bracelet, customers contribute to bringing an Encircle home to eight new communities in need. These houses provide refuges, mental health services, and support groups to LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. This initiative shows the ideal way of using rainbow products—not just as accessories, but as visual reminders of the causes they support.
Wunderkeks, the “Best Cookies Ever” brand is taking a giant bite out of Pride Month this year with its “Best PRIDE MONTH EVER” Care Package, containing a dozen creatively designed cookies, colorful pom poms, a pair of pink heart-shaped glasses to wear during festivals and parades, and more items.
In the hearts of LGBTQ-owned Wunderkeks, Pride Month means so much more than a $45 box of rainbow-colored goodies. Instead, the brand has officially partnered with the charity festival LOVELOUD, which supports the well-being of LGBTQ+ youth. Together, the two organically inclusive companies’ goals are planning to go loud and proud while sending a message of support, hope, and love. For every $1 per dozen Wunderkeks makes during June, a portion will go to the LOVELOUD foundation, which celebrates diversity through music.
To further promote their Pride efforts, Wunderkeks came to MuteSix to produce LGBTQ+-specific content with influencers and celebrities supporting this community, including Don Reynolds from Imagine Dragons, who’s also the founder of LOVELOUD.
Beekeeper’s Naturals, a brand revolutionizing wellness by creating clean, effective products powered by the beehive and backed by science, is about to do the same with its Pride efforts. Differentiating from competitors within its vertical, the company is hoping to raise a message of inclusivity.
To accomplish this throughout June, the MuteSix Influencer Team is creating content featuring solely LGBTQ+ influencers in order to uplift the LGBTQ+ community and reassure them that their products are intended for anyone and everyone who appreciates good, clean health and wellness products. To do this, they are working with LGBTQ+ influencers as spokespeople often not tapped into by competitor brands.
Another LGBTQ+-owned and operated organization is Only Human Co.
According to the cause campaign-centric apparel company: “We’re not just gay in June, we celebrate Pride 24/7/365. It’s who we are and will always be.” In fact, with supporting the LGBTQ+ community being the company’s very foundation, they release a new Cause Campaign and line of apparel each month benefiting a non-profit partner. For every sale they donate, a portion of the proceeds goes to that month’s cause.
Thus, it’s no surprise that in June, they’re celebrating Pride in a truly authentic and conscientious way. To do this, they’re devoting the entire month to events and experiences, including story shares, drag events, talent shows, and more. Additionally, they will be sending messages pertaining to the essence of Pride Month in the form of daily texts, surprise videos, workshops, inspirational talks, Q&A, Instagram takeovers, and tons more.
Further, their Pride store is chock full of apparel and accessories with unique messages during this influential celebration. Veering far from the industry norms, their words truly speak to the heart with phrases such as “Kind to All Kinds,” “Team Human,” and “Do ask. Do Tell.”
MuteSix and ShoppingGives are proud to partner together and with clients like these who appreciate the importance and impact of Pride Month.
If you’re a brand looking to enhance your Pride advertising efforts or participate in cause marketing, both organizations are here to support you and the LGBTQ+ community so worthy of your support, too.
So, are you ready to take a stand and make change happen? If so, head over to MuteSix for a complimentary audit and ShoppingGives to install their Shopify App for free or receive a 10% discount on any annual contract. It’s the perfect opportunity to learn more about the intersection of shopping and compassion this Pride Month and beyond.