Beyond LGBTQ+ Friendliness: Building Brands that Anchors Inclusivity, Safety, and Authentic Allyship
Building an inclusive brand is no longer about simply being ‘friendly’ to the LGBTQ+ community; it requires creating an environment that is safe, welcoming, and that displays authentic allyship. Taking a cue from the transformational societal changes witnessed in the 21st Century, marketers must strive to move beyond passive acceptance towards businesses and create brands that alter the narrative of LGBTQ+ community inclusivity.
Going Beyond LGBTQ+ Friendliness
More often than not, brands are content to brandish the friendly tag, implying a level of acceptance of the LGBT+ community, without integrating measures that truly make these individuals feel accepted and safe. Inclusivity is the next level in creating a brand that resonates with this community. It involves making tweaks to business operations and tools to drive home the point that every customer, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender, is valued and respected.
The Key Role of Safe Spaces
Instilling a sense of belonging in different customers boils down to creating safe spaces. For instance, many businesses include pronouns on name tags or screen names, enhancing recognition and respect for different identities. Additionally, featuring members of the LGBT+ community in visual marketing strategies resonates well with this demographic, showing that they are a vital part of the brand’s customer base. Offering support to organizations that uplift the LGBTQ+ community is another effective way for brands to create safe and welcoming spaces.
Giving Corporate Allyship New Meaning
Authentic allyship goes beyond donating to non-profits or participating in Pride Parades. An inclusive brand delves deeper to understand the unique needs and concerns of the LGBTQ+ community. They need to tangibly show their support for the community, painting a more comprehensive picture of their commitment to inclusivity rather than narrow-minded transactional associations.
How Brands can Become Better Allies
Here are some actionable steps that a brand can undertake to foster true allyship:
Spreading Awareness: Brands need to extend their understanding of the LGBTQ+ community beyond the superficial. By conducting educational workshops about LGBTQ+ identities and terminology, brands can dispel common misconceptions and ensure a better understanding.
Time for Reflection: It’s of paramount importance that brands make an honest assessment about their treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. This paves the way for the identification of areas in need of improvement.
Embrace Active Involvement: Allyship requires active participation. Brands can show their support by directly getting involved with the community, which could entail sponsoring events, creating supportive internal policies, or even facilitating LGBTQ+ focused customer forums.
Keep it Real: The Power of Authenticity
Authenticity is a potent tool in a brand’s arsenal. Consumers are perceptive and can tell if a brand’s actions are genuine or just for show. Being an LGBTQ+ inclusive brand is not about capitalizing on the latest trend but about making a sincere effort to understand, respect, and support this community.
Creating an inclusive brand does not just make business sense; it mirrors our evolved society where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender, has a seat at the table. Inclusivity, grounded on safety, understanding, and genuine allyship, is the cornerstone for brands aiming to resonate with the LGBTQ+ community. By following the steps outlined above, brands can ensure they are on the right path towards becoming a truly inclusive entity.
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