Webinar Recap: From Ally to Advocate—How Brands Can Celebrate and Support the LGBTQ+ Community Year Round
Ideas / Inspiration

Webinar Recap: From Ally to Advocate—How Brands Can Celebrate and Support the LGBTQ+ Community Year Round

Ren Reed
May 30, 2024
Reading Time: 4 minutes

In case you missed it (we hope you didn't!), we had an excellent conversation about how brands can better support and celebrate Pride, both during Pride Month and all year long.

Jenn Grace, author of "Beyond The Rainbow: Personal Stories and Practical Strategies", and Carlos Gutierrez, Deputy Director & General Counsel for LGBT Tech, were gracious enough to join us and share their perspectives on how we can more effectively support the LGBTQ+ community in ecommerce.

David Carter, Postscript's Head of Litigation and Regulatory Policy, spoke with Jenn and Carlos about best practices for inclusive design throughout the year, good and bad examples of allyship in marketing, equitable and mindful AI development, and compliance factors to be mindful of as brands gear up to show their support during Pride Month.

You can rewatch the entire webinar or browse the timestamps below to enjoy snippets of the conversation. Be sure to catch the live Q+A with our incredible panel at the end!

Building Brand Allyship with Inclusive Design [3:51]

Carlos emphasizes the importance of adopting inclusive design principles. Inclusive design creates accessible and beneficial products and environments for diverse users. Carlos highlighted that inclusive design has a positive social impact and contributes to increased revenue and profit. Studies show that consumers are more likely to buy from brands that launch campaigns focused on diverse communities. By leveraging inclusive design tools, such as showing a range of diverse people and sexual orientations without stereotyping, ecommerce brands can truly become allies and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.

Strategies for Engaging LGBTQ+ Customers in SMS Marketing [12:50]

Jenn and Carlos share practical strategies for businesses to connect with the LGBTQ+ community through SMS marketing. Jenn emphasized the importance of inclusive messaging, avoiding stereotypes, and embracing diverse representation.

Addressing Risks and Ensuring Inclusive Marketing Practices [19:53]

Our speakers cover the potential risks and concerns associated with targeting messaging towards the LGBTQ+ community. It is essential for marketers to be aware of unintended consequences and the impact of their strategies. Discriminatory or poorly targeted marketing content can be offensive and alienating. Brands should prioritize inclusive and authentic marketing that respects the diversity of the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, data protection and privacy are paramount. Inadequate data security measures pose a risk to the privacy and safety of LGBTQ+ individuals. Marketers must prioritize data security and implement inclusive practices to ensure their campaigns are inclusive and respectful.

Prioritizing Inclusivity Internally and Externally [26:39]

Our speakers highlight the importance of fostering inclusivity not only in external marketing efforts but also internally within the company. Internal buy-in from employees and customers plays a pivotal role in successful inclusion. Without this buy-in, companies risk wasting resources and alienating individuals. Engaging employee resource groups (ERGs) and collaborating across departments can help create an inclusive environment that reflects the diverse needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Learnings from Bud Light's Marketing Efforts [35:05]

Jenn shares a case study about Bud Light's marketing efforts towards the LGBTQ+ community. Bud Light received criticism for not standing by an influencer who faced backlash during a sponsorship, resulting in a loss of customers and brand loyalty. The impact on Bud Light was estimated to be around $3-4 billion. This case study served as a reminder of the potential dangers of not providing support and raised awareness about the consequences of actions in marketing campaigns.

Considerations of AI [42:17]

Our discussion also touched on AI's impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Our speakers highlighted the biases and challenges associated with AI systems, particularly in relation to gender identity and LGBTQ+ content. They stressed the need for inclusive design, diverse representation, and avoiding intentional discrimination when using AI tools in marketing campaigns. Participants were encouraged to carefully evaluate data sources for potential biases and to utilize resources such as the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and organizations like Out in Tech for guidance.

The webinar concluded with a mention of Out is the New In, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about LGBTQ mental health and supports other LGBTQ service organizations. By purchasing merchandise, participants could contribute to supporting these nonprofits.

Resources and Q&A [49:42]

With a focus on commitment, authentic engagement, and inclusive design principles, businesses can become true allies and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community while enhancing their revenue and profit. By avoiding stereotypes, embracing diverse representation, and prioritizing privacy and data security, ecommerce brands can create inclusive environments that resonate with LGBTQ+ consumers.

Remember, inclusivity should be a year-round commitment, not limited to Pride Month. By continuously evaluating the impact of campaigns, incorporating feedback, and collaborating internally, brands can create meaningful connections and build lasting trust with the LGBTQ+ community.

For more information and resources, consider exploring Out is the New In, the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index and organizations like Out in Tech!

Ren Reed
Ren Reed
Content Marketing Specialist
Ren is a part of the content team at Postscript. He considers himself a writer and a filmmaker, but his trophy case remains void of Oscars. Until a golden statue takes up residence there, he'll continue creating for the fun of it!