The time has come and Manchester Pride is set for its annual celebration. With the 4 day ‘Big Weekend’ event about to begin, we wanted to take a look at what the annual celebration really means for brands.
Some of the country’s most well-known brands show their support at Pride including Barclays, Adidas, and Sainsburys and there’s no doubt that endorsement from influential brands and organisations does a lot to raise awareness of the concept of LGBT+ equality. However, some members of the LGBT+ community question the sincerity of this support, concerned that brands are simply using Pride as another “trending topic” they can monetise on.
That’s why we wanted to share our thoughts, in line with Manchester Prides mission of “Campaign. Celebrate. Engage.”, on how and if brands should be supporting the event.
These days authenticity is one of the most important factors consumers use when deciding which brands to support, and they can smell inauthentic brand engagement a mile off. In fact, 70% of LGBT+ consumers say a brand’s reputation as being LGBT+ friendly has directly influenced a purchase they have made. Sure, it’s easy to slap a rainbow motif on your regular branding and call it Pride but that can often make support look like an afterthought. Instead, avoid generic Pride messaging and focus on diversity, creativity, and doing something meaningful that raises awareness of, or directly tackles, LGBT+ issues.
Did you know only 13% of brands include LGBT+ consumers in year-round media planning? Support for the LGBT+ community rings hollow if brands treat Pride like a public holiday- something they pay attention to once a year – as opposed to a global movement towards equality. It’s important to make sure campaigns are LGBT+ inclusive all year ‘round; after all, LBGT+ consumers don’t just disappear when Pride ends. By making your marketing strategy diverse and inclusive you can make an impact and connect with your audience on a much more personal level.
It is very obvious when brands jump on the Pride bandwagon in the interest of sales. Especially when this targets an audience they otherwise ignore the rest of the year. Participation in Pride comes with the responsibility of understanding what the movement stands for and a desire to give back to the community. We recommend taking a leaf out of apparel company Levi Strauss & Co’s book and donating proceeds made on the sales of Pride products to charities that benefit the LGBT+ community.
Marketing You Can be Proud Of
There are plenty of ways to interact with Pride from a marketing perspective but it’s important to do so with compassion and care. To summarise, the key pillars of any LGBT+ inclusive marketing strategy include:
- Year ‘round engagement
- Giving back to the community
We think brands and Pride can co-exist and, by aligning your marketing with Manchester Pride’s mission statement, you can show your support for Pride in a meaningful way. Looking for help and advice when it comes to your brand’s marketing strategy? Contact us!