June is Pride Month – a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. This year is especially meaningful to LGBTQ+ people because it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which occurred in June 1969 and inspired the June celebration.
Like many other national holidays, Pride Month gives brands an opportunity to use targeted marketing to their advantage. To celebrate pride, June is met with rainbows as far as the eye can see – from colorful salads to lipstick collections to protein bars.
It’s no mystery why so many brands are marketing to the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month: In addition to taking advantage of the holiday, the community has $3.7 trillion in purchasing power globally.
A recent article by Nick Wolny of Entrepreneur explains how this massive audience wants to be sold to. Rather than the traditional colorful brand campaign, people are looking for something more substantial and meaningful
Wolny notes that it’s nice to be put on a “rainbow pedestal” one month a year, but the LGBTQ+ community would much rather see themselves and their day-to-day lives reflected by brands. Gillette knocked it out of the park with its heartwarming ad showcasing a man teaching his transgender son how to shave.
In addition to normalizing, it is important to show the LGBTQ+ community that you understand the issues they face, such as legal marriage and discrimination. One suggestion Wolny offers for brands who are nervous to accidentally offend the LGBTQ+ community is to partner with social media influencers who have queer voices and understand the climate.
Wolny notes the essence of a pride parade is to highlight local activists and grassroots organizations. In recent years, that has been drowned out by more corporate groups. New York City, for example, received criticism in 2018 for its pride parade being “too commercial.” When marketing to LGBTQ+ people, make sure to do your homework and find organizations that operate in your city.
Why save it for June? The LGBTQ+ community is available and accessible year-round. Don’t forget to include them in brand messaging!