Brands that support LGBTQ equality are critical to the LGBTQ community, and the awareness of that support overwhelmingly translates into purchasing decisions.
This is just one of the many findings from the 14th Annual LGBTQ Community Survey, which Community Marketing & Insights released just a few months ago. The survey highlights brand expectations, pressing political and social concerns, and key purchasing motivations of LGBTQ consumers.
Brands that take a stand and support LGBTQ equality, for example, are winning with the community as 85 percent of those surveyed agreed that corporations that support LGBTQ equality are “more important than ever.” Eighty percent agreed that companies supportive of LGBTQ equality “will get more of my business this year.” In fact, 73 percent have made a conscious decision to make a purchase over the past 12 months, at least in part, due to a company’s LGBTQ-inclusive outreach, employment practices, or LGBTQ-supportive political stance.
This year, there are a lot of concerns on the minds of the LGBTQ community, and brands must take a stand and commit to a deeply authentic, ongoing strategy to connect and engage the community. For brands looking to enter this market, or expand their LGBTQ market share, understanding the community’s nuances through research provides the roadmap and competitive edge.
This year’s LGBTQ tracking study included 34,000 respondents from 130 countries. The survey was fielded in five languages between March 14 and May 31, 2020. The findings in the report focus on United States data for 17,230 self-identified LGBTQ community members across ethnicities, gender identities, and generations (aged 18 to 75-plus).
The study identified the five most important issues facing the LGBTQ community — LGBTQ equality, health care quality and costs, fair elections and protection of democracy, racial discrimination, and the government’s ability to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The study found that sponsorship of LGBTQ community organizations, and taking a stand for LGBTQ human rights, are key approaches to establishing a brand as an authentic LGBTQ partner. The survey also confirmed that it takes more than doing the “right thing” to make an impact. Marketers also need to communicate their efforts to the community through LGBTQ media channels. Otherwise, a corporation’s good deeds may go unrecognized.
 Another simple but important finding is Community Marketing & Insight’s annual update on community terminology. LGBTQ has overtaken LGBT as the preferred term to describe the community (although both tested favorably). Adding the “+” symbol (as in LGBTQ+) gained some acceptance over the past year (3 percent more favorable), but LGBTQ+ still lags behind LGBTQ. When speaking to and with the community, it’s important to know how to address the community.
The survey is available on our website along with a great deal of information to help anyone interested in our findings. To learn more, and to download the entire survey, please visit Community Marketing & Insights.

Thomas Roth

President of Community Marketing & Insights (CMI)

About the Author

Thomas Roth launched Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) in 1992 and has served as its President for more than 25 years. Tom and his team have developed a spectrum of products and services to skillfully lead clients to their goals. Tom with his industry-leading expertise leads the CMI division which produces the annual LGBTQ Community Survey® and custom consumer research studies. Tom engages in consulting and training to CMI’s diverse clients across a broad range of industries, including banking, insurance, retail, media, tourism, hospitality, pharmaceutical, beverages, real estate and more. Tom earned his MBA in 1985 from Maharishi University of Management. He provides pro-bono consulting and marketing services to nonprofits, and is a long-time instructor of the Transcendental Meditation program, bringing meditation to people living with HIV at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Desert AIDS Project. He can be reached at or 415-343-4656.

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