Meaningful actions brands can take for LGBTQ+ inclusivity

Streetbees, known for its large-scale qualitative and quantitative audience insights through conversational research, has unveiled new research that delves into consumer sentiments and expectations regarding brand engagement during Pride month.

The study reveals that consumers are urging brands to adopt authentic and substantial actions to support the LGBTQ+ community, rather than relying on superficial marketing during June. These insights were gathered from conversational surveys conducted with 1,067 UK consumers aware of Pride month, using Streetbees' agile insights platform, SBX.

Key insights from the research include:

  • 81% of consumers define Pride month as a time for LGBTQ+ advocacy, followed by celebrating individuality (46%), community support (42%), celebrating freedom (26%), and acceptance (22%).
  • 75% of consumers have a generally positive sentiment towards brand engagement with Pride month, but 39% perceive rainbow marketing as "disingenuous" and "inappropriate."

When asked how brands can make meaningful engagement, consumers cited year-round engagement (40%) as the most important factor, followed by LGBTQ+ support (31%), inclusive practices (29%), charitable donations (22%) and inclusive advertising (20%). 

The findings show that a rainbow marketing campaign is not enough for consumers. To resonate authentically and demonstrate genuine allyship, brands must take meaningful steps to demonstrate their inclusivity and support internally, to make their external efforts come across authentically. There are several steps that can be taken including implementing ongoing LGBTQ+ employee resource groups and training programs to foster an inclusive workplace culture year-round. Additionally, brands can show their tangible support by donating to LGBTQ+ organisations and prioritising inclusive advertising that authentically represents the community, avoiding stereotypes and tokenism.

"Our research reveals the importance of brands extending their support for LGBTQ+ communities beyond just one month of the year. Adopting inclusive logos as a one off simply isn't enough. People believe genuine support should have a tangible impact” said Vidisha Gaglani, CEO, Streetbees. “Brands that represent and champion diversity and inclusivity in all of their activities are seen to be authentic."