Leaders & Laggards – Business Courts the LGBT Consumer
In a conversation with a senior executive from a Fortune 500 company the other day, he told me that companies in his industry “don’t have to worry about the gay dollar”.
Frankly, I was surprised. Data from marketing and employee surveys indicate just the opposite.
1) The LGBT market in the U.S. alone should top $1 Trillion in 2015. Friends, families and other allies add importantly to that number.
2) LGBT consumers pay attention to which companies are aligned with modern principles and practices that they care about—equal pay, benefits and opportunity on the job, and the ability to bring one’s “whole self” to work, not to mention a broader respect for LGBT individuals families in the markets they serve and communities where they operate. Here are the data from a recent CMI-Harris Interactive survey:
• 55% of American LGBT consumers (that’s about $550 billion) will purposely choose to purchase from companies that are seen as supportive of LGBT rights.
• 70% are willing to pay more for LGBT inclusive and supportive brands.
• Nearly 80% of LGBT consumers, their friends and families, expressed a willingness to switch to more inclusive/LGBT-supportive brands just on that basis alone.
3) The competition for the best and the brightest talent is fierce—in every industry. Recruiters universally report that they are grilled on numerous questions—How green is our company? What do we do in the CSR space? What’s our record on diversity and inclusion? to purchase from companies that are seen as supportive of LGBT rights. switch to more inclusive/LGBT-supportive brands just on that basis alone.
The table below (compiled from the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index) shows there are great companies in every industry that have strong engagements with the LGBT community—both inside their company and in the marketplace. Companies that lag these leaders choose to put at risk a significant market segment.
For complete metrics and scores go to Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index 2014:
These realities are extremely important for every CEO. Human Resource, Marketing and Public Affairs leads will see these issues crop up in their work as well. Ultimately, no company can afford to leave the “gay dollar” on the table.
In future posts, we’ll look at real-life examples of companies that have successfully repositioned themselves to capture their “unfair share” of the gay market as one Chief Marketing Officer boasted to me not too long ago.
If your company isn’t where you think it should be, or you’re not sure you’re moving forward as effectively as you should, call us.
We can help.
|Boeing||100||General Dynamics||85||Alliant Techsystems||50|
|Lockheed Martin||100||L-3 Communications||30|
|General Motors||100||Visteon||80||Goodyear Tire & Rubber||15|
|Ford||100||Hertz Global||65||Penske Automotive Group||15|
|Banking & Finance|
|Bank of America||100||Fed. Reserve of Boston||80||E*Trade Financial||55|
|BMO||100||Fed. Reserve of Cleveland||80||H&R Block||35|
|Food, Beverages & Groceries|
|Coca-Cola||100||Heinz||85||Burger King Corp.||55|
|Kellogg||100||Nestle||85||Domino’s Pizza Inc.||35|
|McDonalds||90||Dole Food Co.||30|
|Tyson Foods Inc.||15|
|Walgreens||100||Express Scripts||70||Coventry Health Care||15|
|GE||100||Emerson Electric||60||Oshkosh Corp.||15|
|Mining & Metals|
|Newmont||60||Reliance Steel & Aluminum||15|
|Oil & Gas|
|Shell||95||Exxon Mobil Corp.||-25|
|Eli Lilly||100||Hospira||65||Allergan Inc.||15|
|Pfizer||100||Amgen||60||Gilead Sciences Inc.||0|
|Retail & Consumer Goods|
|Proctor & Gamble||100||Toys ‘R’ Us||75||Bed, Bath & Beyond Inc.||30|
|ATT||100||Nortel Networks Corp.||50|