Marketing to Those Who Support Equality

  1. Jill Andrews
  2. April 13, 2016 4:37 pm

The discussion of gay marriage continues to be a debate, but regardless of how any individual or company feels about the issue, it is important to note how the push for equality has changed the way businesses market themselves. The connection between business and politics is a blurry one. On the one hand, politics and the personal beliefs of the individuals behind the company can hinder the success of a business and place it in an unflattering light. But on the other hand, if a company chooses to remain silent about large political inequalities and debates, they may find they aren’t meeting the expectations of their customer base.

Marketing to those who Support EqualityThe connection between marketing and if a company does or does not support equality and LGBT rights may not be immediately apparent, but it is definitely there. With the discussion of some states deciding that companies can make their own choices about whether or not they serve a member of the gay community, we also see a number of companies pulling services, jobs, and physical places of business in those states. By taking a stance for marriage equality, these businesses are marketing themselves as liberal minded and progressively thinking.

But that isn’t to say that companies who come out to say they do not support equality are immediately doomed or destined to fail. In the case of Chik-fil-a, whose CEO came out against gay marriage just a few years ago, the company shut off a number of potential customers, but also found new customers with similar-thinking individuals.

The way that a company addresses such a controversial topic in world politics markets themselves to either side of the spectrum. It is a  different marketing path than the typical avenue of creating commercials, print advertisements, and pushing promotions out on social media. Instead, it is a matter of establishing the brand of a company.

The brand behind a company becomes the driving force of all the marketing they will do. Unlike a marketing campaign, if an advertisement or social media post isn’t successful, it can easily be changed, re-addressed, and fixed in the future. When a company takes a stance on LGBT equality, whether it is for or against, they are engraining the message into the entire business, brand, and image.

A brand is able to create an image that allows customers to connect with an imaginary person behind the company, known as the brand image. For most customers, it is important to relate to the brand image that a company puts forward, including having the same or similar opinions on the things that matter most to them. So, if a company were to come out in support of marriage equality, they may find an increase in business from individuals who also support the right for anyone to marry whoever they wish.

Establishing your company as a foreword thinker, willing to support the decisions of your customer base may not be viewed as a marketing strategy, but it can definitely be a strong one when approached correctly.