Marketing Insights Podcast
June 27, 2022
Hi, this is Shanita Akintonde, educator, author, career coach, and marketing sheroe. I invite you to join me for this very special edition of my marketing insights podcast series entitled Put Down the Duckets. Be a LGBTQ+ champion.
You got to put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets. Yeah, you got to leave them coins alone. Woo. You got to put down the duckets. Put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets if you want to be a marketing maestro. Put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets. You got to put down the duckets if you want to be a marketing maestro. You didn't hear a word I said, you got to get it through your head. Don't be an empty bucket. Lay aside some duckets. You don't have to put it on the train.
You don't have to wash it down the drain. You don't have to put it in a socket. You don't have to fly it in a rocket. You're just put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets if you want to be a marketing maestro. Put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets, put down the duckets if you want to be a marketing maestro. Put down the duckets. Lots and lots of duckets y'all. Put down the duckets if you want to be a marketing maestro. Happy pride month. Welcome to another special edition of my marketing insights podcast series entitled Put Down the Duckets, be an LGBTQ+ champion. For those who are unawares duckets is lingo for dollar dollar bills, y'all. I hope you skip away from this podcast with tips and tools on how to infuse your product and brand categories that amplify the VOE, that's voice of experience, of the LGBTQ+ community.
To jumpstart this month's Jupiter size podcast, I am going to share research and insights from a presentation that I recently attended as well entitled How Great Brands are Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community presented by the Collage Group. One panelist, Jill Rosenfeld, senior analyst for the Collage Group of product and content, began her portion of the presentation regarding the profile of members of the LGBTQ+ demographic with a question. She asked, just how many people are LGBTQ+ in America? This is one of the great unknowns as it wasn't until very recently that official census data started to even ask the question about sexuality or sexual orientation. Gallup is the go to resource for this type of data collection. And according to their data, 7.1% of American adults over the age of 18, identify as LGBTQ or 20 million people that comprised the LGBTQ+ community in this country. That's 20 million people that smart brands recognize as an opportunity for them to be realized and actualized.
The younger generation makes up the largest portion of this segment. That makes growth the key word for this demographic. Three additional differentiation points stand out, too. Number one, two thirds of this demographic agree that they are proud about what makes them different from their peers. They also take high pride in creative expression, especially in genres like fashion. Uniqueness and happiness are two other markers for this segment. Let's underline the word unique. That means the LGBTQ+ community is not a monolith. They do not want to be lumped together, but rather seen as individuals with the following message. I am a kind compassionate, considerate, charitable person who believes in the mission of insert company mission statement here, who happens to identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Number two, they have high expectations for brands. Two thirds of the LGBTQ+ target audience say that they acknowledge pride month in some way, many celebrate because they think it's important to the community.
Almost 40% of this group say it's important for brands and companies to celebrate, too. LGBTQ+ members think all brands, actually, should participate. They want more than service level advertising though. And what they also point out is that it should be about education. I discussed this in depth in several previous podcasts. The titles include; How do Brands Spell Diversity?!? R-E-S-P-E-C-T!, Brands That Take a Stand, C.A.R.E Bear (er) Brands, and Short Brands, among others, go back and take a listen. Be sure to like and share as well. Mama needs new shoes y'all. On the other end of the spectrum, this audience is dissatisfied with how their sexuality is displayed in ads. Many people from this segment feel invisible, too. That may be because many ads rely on stereotypes. One key component that is missing is authenticity. This target likes to buy from companies and brands that support them, but in real and dynamic ways.
So let's circle back to Pride Month and discuss how it's celebrated and how brands can help celebrate as well. Members of the LGBTQ+ community support businesses that support them. More than one third of the community purchases, Pride inspired merchandise. But hold on, this demographic wants more than rainbow colored T-shirts. One in five of Generation Z that identifies as LGBTQ+ is a target in particular that wants to have the $1.4 trillion worth of spending power that as an aggregate, this consumer group comprises in their pocket books and purses to be spent in valuable ways for brands that show them valuable. As I heard one member of the community say, "We're totally here and totally queer." Here are some additional stats; 10% of the adult population as a whole identifies as LGBTQ+. This group has higher household incomes than heterosexual families. That's due to what I call the DINK dynamic, DINK standing for double income, no kids. DINK is an industry term.
I didn't create it. I added that dynamic part. By the way, 70% of heterosexuals surveyed by the Collage Group state, "Someone that I care about in my life is a member of the LGBTQ+ community." You should know marketing maestros that I introduced an LGBTQ+ marketing curriculum to my department over 15 years ago, through a course I developed called G L B T advertising that I taught for several semesters. The course was the first of its kind, not only on my campus, but made me a pedagogic pioneer and that the topic was not talked about from a nationwide perspective in higher education institutions, either. Perhaps that's because topics like these, let alone courses, that take a slice, think deep dish, on topics that are not even considered as part of traditional marketing curriculum was legendary.
Many may not be open to the topic today, but I sure hope that's not the case. In either case, the course content that I collected, curated, and subsequently taught, consisted of an analysis of the LGBTQ+ market and its various segments. Allow me to share a few other course highlights with you now. My class explored the divergent consumer behavior of the G L B T, which is what it was called back then, now LGBTQ+ market, and how it differs from that of other audiences. We identified media habits and valuable media outlets to reach this market. We evaluated effective advertising campaigns and scored them whether print, TV, or nontraditional. And finally, we ourselves developed advertising messages, san stereotypes, that spoke directly to this market.
I accompanied this effort with a great deal of research presentations and writings as well, which I still do. Speaking of research, let's delve into a brand case study. Oreo. Oreo is somewhere over the rainbow this June. The cookie brand celebrated the LGBTQ+ community in June, 2022 by dropping sweet crumbs from a third year partnership with PFLAG National, called Official Retail Pride Pack. PFLAG National is the largest organization for LGBTQ+ people, their parents and peers, families, and friends, and in true brand identity fashion the PFLAG National Pack is personalized to the nines. Let's unpack it. The packaging persists in colorful hues that are embedded with what a news release touts as authentic words of love for the LGBTQ+ community that source from real lifelong allies, end quote. Consumers can also add personalized notes of love before sharing cookies with their loved ones. At the top of the pack is the fact that the classic Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies inside are now embossed with the words proud on top.
Still with me on this special edition of my Marketing Insights podcast series marketing maestros? This one is entitled Put Down the Duckets, Be an LGBTQ+ Champion. Now let's do a litmus test on your products' brand ability during Pride Month. First order of business, take a look at your social media diet. Which companies and brands are you digesting? How many of them have been somewhere over the rainbow and have plastered some rendition of a rainbow as part of their logo over the past few weeks for Pride Month. According to Dr. Jen Shang and Dr. Adrian Sergeant, who have pioneered research in the field of philanthropic psychology through the Institute of Sustainable philanthropy, their research shows that giving individuals a stronger sense of identity to self is paramount. The act of giving then, is an act of living up to a set of core values they say.
I think the same principle applies to purchasing behavior. Next up, review your marketing programs. How do you serve the LGBTQ+ communities specifically? Do you have programming that includes that demographic? How is this premise reflected in your communication messaging? And lastly, do you have parody in place to represent audiences of various backgrounds and identities? Do your marketing materials show images of same sex couples and people of diverse backgrounds? The key is to seek out learning opportunities and listen to experts on the topic like what I'm sharing with you in this podcast, as well as people who represent the community themselves. Above all, be intentional and sincere in word deed and remember to always, and without any hesitation whatsoever, put down the ducks, be an LGBTQ+ champion. Until next time, which will be our best time, this is Shanita Akintonde, professor, author, career coach, and marketing sheroe, signing off. If you enjoy listening to these podcasts, be sure to subscribe on Stitcher, iTunes or Google Play and like them wherever you hear them. Connect with me on LinkedIn at professor Shanita Akintonde, or follow me on Twitter at underscore Shanita speaks.