How Fashion and Beauty Brands Are Giving Back for Pride Month 2020

The LGBTQ community is more skeptical than the total U.S. population when it comes to brands’ Pride campaigns.

When asked to rate certain kinds of Pride initiatives on a scale of authenticity, LGBTQ consumers in the U.S. were 1.4 times more likely to describe those campaigns as “inauthentic” compared to other Americans, according to a survey conducted by global data and insights company Dynata on June 12, in combination with DeVries Global. They surveyed a representative sample of 1,000 Americans through Dynata’s online platform, including 191 of whom identified as LGBTQ.

According to the LGBTQ respondents, the Pride initiative that resonated the most with them was “making donations or partnering with relevant nonprofits,” which 34 percent said was inauthentic, and 44 percent called authentic. In other words, LGBTQ people want meaningful action. The kinds of Pride campaigns that brands create can directly impact purchasing decisions, as well. Some 47 percent of LGBTQ respondents indicated they would be more likely to buy from brands if they saw them addressing LGBTQ issues more often, and more than half of these consumers said their decisions hinged on “how and when” brands got involved in the conversation.

Specifically among LGBTQ respondents, for brands that “create gear and merchandise,” related to Pride Month, 40 percent of them said it was inauthentic, while 31 percent said it was authentic. “Creating ads tailored toward Pride and the LGBTQ community,” 42 percent of LGBTQ respondents felt it was inauthentic, while 33 percent called it authentic. For those brands that “sponsor a float during Pride marches,” 46 percent felt it was inauthentic, while 40 percent said it was authentic, and for those who adopt Pride filters for social media content, 31 percent said it was inauthentic, while 40 percent thought it was authentic. (The differential was undecided.)

According to the survey, the total population has a more positive view on some of these Pride initiatives..

Among the total population, of those brands “making  donations or partnering with relevant nonprofits,” 22 percent felt it was inauthentic while 58 percent felt it was authentic; 31 percent found that “adopting filters for social media content” was inauthentic, while 39 percent felt it was authentic.  When it comes to “creating gear and  merchandise in support of LGBTQ community,” 25 percent felt it was inauthentic, while 44 percent felt it was authentic; “creating an ad tailored toward Pride and the LGBTQ community,” 34 percent thought it was inauthentic and 43 percent felt it was authentic, and “sponsoring a float during Pride marches,” 34 percent felt it was inauthentic and 43 percent felt it was authentic.

The survey asked the respondents that if they saw brands addressing LGBTQ issues more often, would they be more likely to be loyal to them and buy their products?

According to the LGBTQ population, 21 percent said they would be more likely to support a brand that addressed LGBTQ issues, while 16 percent of the total population said they would. Twenty-four percent of the LGBTQ population said they would be less likely to support brands that address LGBTQ issues frequently while 20 percent of the total population said they would be less likely to support these brands.

Ten percent of the LGBTQ population said addressing LGBTQ issues doesn’t affect their behavior, while 22 percent of the total population said it doesn’t affect their behavior. Twenty-six percent of the LGBTQ population said they would be more likely to be loyal and buy their products, but it depends on how and when they address LGBTQ issues, while 18 percent of the total population said yes, but it depends on how and when they address LGBTQ issues.

When asked how else does a brand’s stance on LGBTQ issues affect their purchasing behavior, 20 percent of the LGBTQ population said they seek out more LGBTQ-friendly brands, while 13 percent of the total population said they do.

Some 21 percent of the LGBTQ population said brand support, or lack of support, for LGBTQ doesn’t affect their purchasing decisions, while 30 percent of the total population said brand support, or lack of support, for LGBTQ doesn’t affect their purchasing decisions.

Seventeen percent of the LGBTQ population said they avoid brands that are not LGBTQ friendly, while 14 percent of the total  population said they  avoid brands that are not LGBTQ friendly.

In the current environment, respondents were asked what the role of Black Lives Matter should be during Pride 2020 (i.e., through a moment of silence, marching side by side, holding a BLM sign), and 33 percent of the LGBTQ population strongly supported that Black Lives Matter be incorporated into Pride 2020, while 28 percent of the total population agreed. Some 18 percent of the LGBTQ population “strongly disagreed” that Black Lives Matter be incorporated into Pride 2020, and 16 percent of the total population “strongly disagreed” that Black Lives Matter should be incorporated into Pride 2020.

The scene at the World Pride Parade in New York.

The scene at last year’s World Pride March in New York.  Andrew Morales/WWD

Interestingly, 24 percent of the LGBTQ population didn’t feel strongly one way or another about Black Lives Matter being incorporated into Pride 2020 and 35 percent of the total population felt the same way.

When asked why respondents disagreed with incorporating Black Lives Matter into Pride 2020, 27 percent believe that Pride deserves its own moment, independent of other current events, while 26 percent believe that Black Lives Matter deserves its own moment, independent of current events. Some 16 percent feel that it’s “disrespectful to the Black community,” and 13 percent believe it’s disrespectful to the LGBTQ community. Thirty-eight percent chose “other,” which came from respondents who disagreed with Black Lives Matter as a movement.

Some 18 percent of the LGBTQ population would like to see brands address LGBTQ issues as often as possible, while 20 percent of the total population would like to see that. Twenty percent of the LGBTQ population thinks brands should address these LGBTQ issues one to two times a year, while 19 percent of the total population thinks so.

Finally, some 28 percent of the LGBTQ population thinks that brands should never address LGBTQ issues, while 36 percent of the total population thinks similarly.