Certain brands who support Pride Month, particularly through releasing specialized themed merchandise, have been the point of much contention this year. While the loudest voices are typically heard across media, little room is left for the average consumer to weigh in, including LGBTQ+ consumers. Could brands’ efforts to play to Pride Month in effect be alienating LGBTQ+ consumers themselves?
Last year, CivicScience data showed that these kinds of marketing efforts had become less favorable among LGBTQ+ adults, while the perceived importance of a brand’s overall ‘social consciousness’ had also declined.
This year, data show LGBTQ+ adults have stronger feelings about Pride-themed marketing campaigns run by brands, which looks distinctly different from the pandemic years prior to 2022. The percentage of consumers who feel indifferent fell to a low of 22%. Support for Pride marketing efforts continues to outweigh other sentiments, increasing from last year by two percentage points. But those less likely to support brands that market Pride has equally grown, nearing one-quarter of LGBTQ+ consumers and outpacing those who feel indifferent for the first time.
Age is a major player in the dialogue, and a key factor for brands to be aware of. Gen Z adults who identify as LGBTQ+ are the most likely to support brands that run Pride-themed campaigns, while Gen Xers are by far the least likely. Baby Boomer LGBTQ+ consumers are the most likely to feel indifferent.
Year-over-year tracking shows that the biggest change from 2022 is seen among LGBTQ+ Millennial and Gen X consumers. Millennials are the most likely to have grown in support of brands that run Pride campaigns. In contrast, the increase in those who are ‘less likely to support brands’ is steepest among Gen X.
Consumers who identify as LGBTQ+ are overall more likely than the general U.S. population to care about a company’s ‘social consciousness and overall kindness’ – 79% say it’s at least ‘somewhat important’ when choosing where to shop and what to buy, compared to 72% of the Gen Pop (yearly averages). These numbers have largely stayed consistent since 2022.
Additional recent CivicScience data show that LGBTQ+ consumers are more likely than the average consumer to research a brand’s stance on social issues before making a purchase and less likely to think brands should stay away from aligning with social issues. However, they are nearly just as likely as the average consumer to say they would boycott a brand that supports causes they are against and switch to brands that better align with their values.
Ultimately, Pride-themed marketing campaigns may be welcomed by a slim majority of LGBTQ+ consumers, corresponding with placing a greater precedence on the importance of brand social consciousness. However, brands should note a growing percentage of LGBTQ+ consumers feel averse to Pride-themed marketing, which could impact spending habits. Although LGBTQ+ U.S. adults are more inclined to care about a brand’s values and stance on social issues, that doesn’t always translate to support of a brand running Pride Month marketing campaigns.
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