Pride Month: The Importance of Inclusiveness in Marketing

June is a special month that’s dedicated to celebrating the impact of LGBTQ+ people around the world. The month was originally chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which took place in June 1969, and has since evolved to include massive pride events and celebrations. You’re also likely to see many brands and companies update their […]

June is a special month that’s dedicated to celebrating the impact of LGBTQ+ people around the world. The month was originally chosen to commemorate the Stonewall riots, which took place in June 1969, and has since evolved to include massive pride events and celebrations. You’re also likely to see many brands and companies update their profiles, products, and services with a rainbow icon or colors to symbolize LGBTQ+ pride.

Some brands may take the message of Pride acceptance and symbolism a little too far. This can cause them to come across as opportunistic or insincere with their marketing strategies. Terms like “pinkwashing” have arisen to describe these new business strategies, and if done incorrectly, are often perceived negatively by the LGBTQ+ community and their allies. 

On this blog, we will discuss the concept of inclusive marketing, its relevance in today’s world, and how you can reach inclusivity in your marketing without jeopardizing sincerity.

What is inclusive marketing?

Inclusive marketing is defined as producing engaging and respectful campaigns that embrace the diverse community around a company. It’s through inclusivity that brands build meaningful relationships with their customers at a more in-depth level. As Ruva Mankola at Breaking Blue writes, “diversity and inclusion is important in ensuring the voices of all are heard, and taken into account. This not only prevents companies from going viral for all the wrong reasons, but also ensures that they are communicating in the best way to each customer, regardless of background.” 

When a business incorporates elements of inclusive marketing into their strategy, they reflect the reality of the world around them and elevate different voices of marginalized people. During Pride Month, business (particularly marketers) have a certain responsibility to relay inclusivity into their brands’ messaging in a manner that connects with people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community or their loved ones. Inclusive marketing can also be used to break or challenge stereotypes that can lead to a positive social change.

Why is inclusive marketing so important?

In this day and age, our current population consists of people with different backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, and so on. These groups of people want to see themselves, their stories, and their experiences shared through the right context and means. While brands may run the risk of committing accidental blunders in their campaigns, it’s still highly important to consider inclusivity in every step of their marketing strategies, especially during Pride Month.

Inclusivity can also be seen as progressive in the right direction, which can impact the effectiveness of a marketing campaign. This reflects the mindset of numerous consumers today. According to Salesforce’s new research, 90% of consumers believe that businesses have a responsibility to look beyond profit and improve the state of the world.

How do you implement inclusivity in marketing?

Developing campaigns and strategies around inclusivity is a crucial part of staying relevant with your customers. However, you need to make sure that it comes off as genuine. Most consumers can read the context behind the content, and in the case of Pride Month, many customers who are part of the community may feel as if brands are taking advantage of an event that is still highly political. Because of this, it helps to incorporate a few effective tips that incorporates inclusivity in your marketing:

  • Make sure you set the right tone.

Tone is the element that sets the style or emotion of marketing content. Often, it is through tone that determines whether consumers are engaged or offended by a piece of marketing content. That’s why it’s highly imperative to consider every type of content you intend to produce. 

For example, during Pride Month, Smart Insights emphasizes using community and support behind brand messaging, and to consider your company as a whole. Make sure that the subject, topic, and objectives are clear and respectful to avoid turning off your audience from your business’s marketing campaigns.

  • Hire talent from different backgrounds.

One great way to ensure that your campaigns have an appropriate tone and messaging is to have a diverse team within your company. Take the time to hire diverse talent into your company as this can help your brand obtain a better insight about people of different backgrounds. This, in turn, allows you to produce content that resonates with audiences and can even help you venture into other business opportunities. 

  • Consider the political side.

Remember that representation has massive power. Through considerable representation, a wide variety of identities are expressed through images, video, and advertisements. It elevates the voices of those who are marginalized in society. Of course, while there’s a fulfilling side to representation, you must recognize and prepare for the political aspect of it. 

For instance, Pride often has a celebratory side to it from the community and branding messages may include positive comments. However, there are also members of the wider community who disagree with showing support in any way. You must be prepared to handle these types of negative comments, and stick with your campaign through respectful responses.

  • Don’t reinforce stereotypes.

Stereotypes are generalizations about a group of people, often based on societal prejudices, opinions, and judgements. As you may already have figured, there are a vast number of stereotypes aimed directly at the LGBTQ+ community. These types of perceptions are detrimental to the growth and acceptance of marginalized groups.

Although our society has become accepting of the LGBTQ+ people, it’s still crucial to avoid portraying harmful stereotypes that can act as a setback for the community at large. Instead, try to create marketing messages and images that break these stereotypes and reinforce positivity about the community. The right marketing strategies have the potential to change the way society thinks about a group of people.

Pride Month shows marketers and business owners alike how important inclusivity is in today’s world. Along with empowering consumers and building connections with them, inclusive marketing also ensures that all voices are heard and addressed to a wider audience. Just make sure to include the right messages in your branding that help drive the movement forward without setbacks or negative backlash. Through inclusiveness, your company can pave the path to a brighter tomorrow!