Apr. 13, 2009
Currently in some states such as Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa for couples of the same-sex to be married while others ban the practice. The fight to have LGBT civil rights has definitely gained some ground. Not only has the LGBT community had an impact on the world of politics, but the world of business as well. Over fifteen years ago began in the United States, but it is still a fairly new concept in Australia and Europe. The first immergence of the impact of the LGBT community in the business world was in 1973 when Coors Brewing Company was the subject of a boycott by the LGBT. The LGBT community joined to protest Coors' hiring practices, since Coors used a polygraph test when going through the hiring process and specifically asking an employee of their sexual orientation. Coors ignored the boycott for several years, but made some concessions in 1978, and in 1995 began several countermeasures, including dropping the questions regarding homosexuality and extending domestic partnership benefits to its LGBT employees. The company also hired Mary Cheney as a marketing representative and began advertising in The Advocate (an American LGBT-related newsmagazine) and at events such as Denver's PrideFest. The change in Coors’ policies and their marketing as well as their participation in LGBT targeted events shows just a small amount of the impact that the LGBT has had on the business world. The LGBT community has definitely made an impact on the world of business specifically with the increase in gay-themed marketing, support toward the LGBT community, and gay-owned businesses purpose of this paper is to examine how each of the above has had an impact on how the LGBT community has changed the face of the business world in present day.
Many sources agree with the fact that marketing with the LGBT community has extremely impacted the business industry with a growing prevalence of gay-themed advertisements. Gay-themed advertisements are often referred to as LGBT marketing. LGBT marketing includes marketing to LGBT customers, either with dedicated ads or general ads, or through sponsorships of LGBT organizations and events, or through the targeted use of any other element of the marketing mix. The marketing mix is how marketers use place, product, price, and promotion to influence consumers to purchase their products. Why the sudden increase in the marketing toward the LGBT though? A study done by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia compared the population, buying power, buying power per capita among four minority groups in America; African American, gay American, Hispanic American, and Asian American. The African American proved to have the highest buying power of $535 billion and a buying power per capita of $17.8K. Although the LGBT population has a lower buying power of $450 billion their buying power per capita $27.3K, almost $10K above the African American community. Companies such as Out Now Consulting have a mission statement to “develop individual gay marketing solutions for each client, and usually utilize a range of strategies including: gay and lesbian market research, gay niche media, gay online internet activities, tailored gay and lesbian advertising, targeted niche public relations and below-the-line marketing activities to develop, and implement, integrated strategies for our clients that create highly successful results.” It is also mentioned that 81% of gays identify primarily with their sexual orientation while the other 19% identify with their ethnicity (Kinsman, 2004). Because of this many marketing agencies play on the stereotypes of this community to appeal to them. For example, most gay men like clothes so gay-themed clothing advertisements appeal to this community. Many companies also use gay-themed magazines and newspapers to market their products to the LGBT community. Companies also place their advertisements on gay...