BRANDS TAKING MEANINGFUL ACTION WHEN IT COMES TO LGBTQ INCLUSIVITY
Despite the many challenges companies are facing right now, it’s important to remember that June is Pride Month, an opportunity to support and celebrate the LGBTQ community. Under normal circumstances, cities from coast to coast host parades, concerts and other public events to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, these colorful and spirited events have been cancelled or are being held virtually.
There are many companies who are taking LGBTQ inclusivity in the workplace to the next level. The brands below aren’t just painting their logo rainbow colors, they’re taking meaningful action behind the scenes to make their company a place where everyone feels welcome, no matter who they love. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, taking consumer values into account is critical, especially during times of crisis. People expect more from their brands than just a product or service, and if you want to retain your current customers or acquire new prospects, it’s essential to align your brand with the issues they care about, otherwise you risk losing them to a competitor who does.
More than half of IKEA’s employees are minorities and they co-created a UN Standard of Conduct that addresses LGBTQ discrimination in the workplace. Each company location has its own diversity and inclusion ambassador and, three years ago, the company celebrated International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. In 2018, the company’s focus was on transgender inclusion.
This group of IKEA shoppers is equally made up of married men and women ages 35-44 who have at least one child. When it comes to their personal values, they put emphasis on safety in oneself and family, obeying laws and fulfilling obligations and creativity. 46% of these shoppers believe promoting gay/lesbian equality is a highly important issue. As for corporate responsibility, these consumers are 51% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to prefer companies that treat employees fairly, 22% more likely to prefer companies that support the community and 13% more likely to prefer companies that donate to charities.
Source: Resonate Ignite Platform 2020
In terms of consumer engagement activities, these IKEA shoppers are 24% more likely to shop somewhere based on an important issue. In Resonate’s National Consumer Study™, we ask consumers to rank their level of engagement with advocacy issues. This segment voted themselves a 4 out of 4, the highest level of engagement. When it comes to social issue activities, this group is 76% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to share their thoughts publicly on issues and 44% more likely to share their thoughts online. Clearly, this group is passionate about fighting for what they believe in, making IKEA’s decision to go above and beyond what most companies do for their LGBTQ employees a smart move. Their customers are more likely to stay loyal and engaged with the furniture and home goods company.
The hotel chain is ahead of the curve when it comes to workplace inclusion, as they’ve had sexual orientation in their Equal Employment Opportunity since 2000 and gender identity since 2002. They also offer LGBTQ benefits such as equivalent spousal and partner benefits and transgender-inclusive health insurance coverage. “Hyatt was also the first major hotel company to offer domestic partner benefits over two decades ago,” says their website.
This group is equally made up of married men and women between ages 25–34 with no children. Their top personal values are acquiring wealth and influence, maintaining a good public image and living a life full of excitement. 55% of this group believes strongly in promoting gay/lesbian equality and they’re 24% less likely to defend the idea of “traditional” marriage.
When it comes to corporate responsibility, they are 37% more likely than the average U.S. consumers to prefer companies that listen to the public and 21% more likely to prefer companies that support the community. As for consumer engagement activities, these hotel guests are 49% more likely to pay more based on an important issue and 36% more likely to engage in a company’s societal program. Consumers staying at the Hyatt are more inclined to become repeat customers, as they’re committed to paying more based on issues that matter to them. When asked about their advocacy engagement level, they were 51% more likely to rate themselves a 4 out of 4. Hyatt being one of the first major hotel chains to provide benefits and support to its same-sex couples has proven to be highly beneficial to their company based on their engagement and passion for causes they care about. By aligning themselves with causes their customers care about they’ve built a strong relationship with their hotel guests.
The ride-sharing app has received a score of 100 for HRC’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI) over the past few years. They recently launched Gender Transition Guidelines for their employees and are working on expanding their efforts to provide more earning opportunities for transgender partners. Uber’s new Pride site states, “While everyone may look, think, and feel differently, Pride is a time when we’re all uniting for the same thing—equality. From the front seat to the back, inside the car and out, Uber stands with our global LGBTQ+ community on this journey, today and every day.”
These riders are mostly made up of unmarried men ages 25-34 with no children. Their top personal values are showing their abilities and being admired, accepting those who are different and living a life full of excitement. They’re 33% more likely than the average consumer to believe in the importance of promoting gay/lesbian equality. As for corporate responsibility, they’re 54% more likely to prefer companies that donate to charity and 23% more likely to prefer companies that listen to the public. When it comes to consumer engagement activities, they’re 48% more likely than the average U.S. consumer to participate in a company’s societal program, 40% more likely to contact a company to share their thoughts and 29% more likely to pay more based on an important issue.
They’re 57% more likely to rate themselves a 4 out of 4 on the advocacy engagement scale and 150% more likely to volunteer for a cause. They’re 103% more likely to share their thoughts on social issues publicly and 82% more likely to attend a rally or protest. This group is passionate about companies taking a stand on social issues they care about and Uber’s pride page answers any questions their riders may have about their stance or actions they’re taking to ensure inclusion in the workplace.
CONNECTING WITH CONSUMERS YEAR-ROUND
While June may be the month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ equality, when companies commit to practicing inclusivity year-round, they’ll come out on top. It’s never been more important to align corporate and consumer values, and, despite all of the challenges your company is currently facing, it’s important to remind your customers you haven’t forgotten about Pride Month and embracing LGBTQ causes.
Wondering how to authentically take a stand on an issue without alienating customers and prospects? Read our newly released report, The State of Your Customer: Navigating the Intersection of Brand and Consumer Values.