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A Quiet Pride Could Have a Loud Impact

As June approached, Ad Age predicted a quieter Pride Month for brand marketing this year, citing factors like last year’s boycotts, the current election cycle, and global conflicts. This drawback raised significant concerns for the LGBTQ+ community, including reduced financial support for nonprofits that rely on marketing programs and decreased overall awareness of LGBTQ+ issues.

A key takeaway for brands, however, is this: Gen Z's unwavering support for LGBTQ+ rights and their increasing influence as consumers make them an essential demographic. Their values prioritize allyship and inclusivity, making them a market segment brands cannot afford to ignore now or in the future.

In fact, Gen Z isn’t just supportive — nearly one in five Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ+, and close to three in 10 Gen Z women (28.5%) identify as LGBTQ+.

This generation embraces individuality and welcomes diversity. And they are going to hold advertisers accountable to delivering authentic messages to help create an accepting culture.

Build Authentic Connections

Some may cynically argue that Gen Z has no brand loyalty, making it pointless to build relationships with them. However, a Vox media survey showed that Gen Z has a negative reaction to messaging that promotes progressive social values that are not intrinsically and authentically connected to a brand's identity, actions, and policies. Adding to that, for years the LGBTQ+ community has been asking marketers to do more than put a rainbow on their logo in June.

We still need brands to stand up when the cultural calendar shines the Pride spotlight, but the real opportunity lies in going deeper. Embracing the authentic diversity that Gen Z appreciates can help us all commit to walking the long road with the LGBTQ+ community.

Become an Authentic Brand

Alignment with this consumer sentiment is not just a marketing objective. Prioritizing authenticity ensures that your brand is playing an appropriate, lasting role in culture and society.

Now is the time to make changes from the inside out. Now is the time to build a genuinely supportive brand that is worthy of existing within the communities of those living their ultimate truths.

At Xpedition we follow the lead of our LGBTQ+ founder and teammates by standing with Pride as a matter of truth. We can only say we're doing our best work if we lend our talents to causes that create safe spaces, amplify stories from the community, and help other brands join this conversation.

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June 27, 2024