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Brands looking to tap LGBT dollars should beware their approach

Just as with any group of people, there are marketers salivating over the spending power of the LGBT community, but it can go poorly if done sloppily.

Tapping into those LGBT dollars

Brands are always looking to tap into the spending power of LGBT people – and sometimes they just get it wrong.

When it comes to protecting your brand and making sure that your values, trust, and message are going to be reflected in your associations, you can’t be too careful when choosing people to publicly align with. In fact, you ought to be running background checks on people or organizations that you plan to affiliate your brand with. There is a risk to damaging your brands reputation and trust if you choose the wrong people.

Take Caitlin Jenner, for example

Caitlin Jenner is all anyone is talking about, but there is a danger which exists to brands in aligning themselves with her. Frankly there isn’t a whole lot about Caitlin that’s puts a positive light on the LGBT community – yet she everywhere you look. Brands are desperately trying to align themselves with Caitlin of Clan Kardashian, I think at the detriment of the brands whose accolades seem out of touch with regular LGBT people.

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Caitlin’s brand is that of a rich, white, conservative, transgender woman. She does not believe in LGBT marriage equality, makes anti-trans comments such as “if you look like a man in a dress, it makes people uncomfortable.”, and makes extremely sexist remarks like, “the hardest part of being a woman is figuring out what to wear.” Caitlin does these things on a regular basis. Does this sound like someone that would be a safe bet to reach the LGBT demographic?

Even brands who get it right catch flack

Anti-LGBT groups have tried many times, unsuccessfully, to boycott brands that support the furtherance of LGBT equality and acceptance. Home Depot, General Mills, Starbucks, EA Games, Campbell’s soup, Archie Comics, JCPenney, and Oreo, have all come under fire from groups like One Million Moms, the American Family Association, the National Organization for Marriage, and Family Research Council.

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The impact has yet to be felt by these brands that are not afraid to make their values clearly defined, even at the risk of losing some people. Guess what? It pays to be pro-LGBT. But it can also be damaging if you are doing it wrong.

#LGBT

Hannah-Jaye has been in the business of helping people achieve their goals for over 14 years. In her earlier years, she was described as a radical activist. After realizing that there was more to a cause than just marching in the streets, she became a professional organizing and movement-building strategist. These skills have translated well in her private sector work in business strategy and marketing development across wildly diverse niches.

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  1. Pingback: Activism sells: Enacting change with your wallet - The American Genius

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