This month is renowned for brand advocacy, with many top brands running pride campaigns all month long. This includes pride-specific messaging and the familiar recoloring of brand logos to match the recognizable rainbow-colored flag. But are these brands actually inclusive, or are they just capitalizing on the moment to increase sales?
As the world’s largest and longest running study of brands, Brand Asset Valuator® (BAV) measures over 4000 brands in the US across 75 different brand metrics in our syndicated study. Using our data, we sought out to answer the question – are these brands putting their money where their mouth is to be truly inclusive?
To do this we started with a list of top LGBTQ-friendly brands developed by Fast Company. These brands, selected in 2020, showcased their commitment to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and supporting equal rights with pride-specific collections and merch.
There are many brands on this list that are also included in BAV’s syndicated study: Target, Banana Republic, Nike, Asos, Converse, UGG, Levi’s, Reebok, Goose Island, and Bombas.
Using the BAV inclusivity metric, we see that on average – they are only in the top 50th percentile on inclusivity in culture. There is a clear discrepancy between their LGBTQ+ collection efforts and how inclusive they are perceived to be by consumers. These brands’ efforts are clearly not enough to convince consumers of their commitment to inclusion.
Being perceived as authentically committed to inclusion goes far beyond Pride and is important in building brand equity.
Our data show that inclusive brands have stronger momentum. The top 10% most inclusive brands are twice as differentiated and have more energy than the brands that rank in the bottom 10% on inclusion. Why does this matter?
- Inclusive brands rank higher on behavioral commitment and consumers are more committed to using these brands as compared to non-inclusive brands.
- Commitment to inclusion is associated with higher scores on authenticity, friendliness, popularity, helpfulness, and trendiness. Aligning your brand with inclusion can help you boost associations with these attributes as well.
- The benefits of being an inclusive brand means not only supporting the of the LGBTQ+ community one month per year. Commitment to inclusion resonates with everyone, leading to stronger behavioral commitment, momentum, and associations with authenticity and popularity across both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ audiences.
Finding ways to authentically showcase your commitment to inclusion can help build your brand and engage with your user-base in an authentic way. Taking a stance against discrimination and promoting equal rights year-round allows for a welcoming and progressive environment that will result in data-proven business advantages for you and your company.
This goes beyond simply slapping a rainbow flag on your social media during pride month. It takes genuine effort and real change, at the organizational level - to support customers of all kinds and get their support in return.
Want to measure the impacts of your inclusion efforts on your brand equity? Let’s talk!
Analytical Brand Strategist Dor is an Analytical Brand Strategist who joined BAV Group in August of 2022. Prior to joining BAV Group, Dor attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed her Masters of Behavioral and Decision Sciences.
Dor is driven by research and data in creating insightful branding strategies that help clients shape their business and purpose. She is passionate about psychology, consumer decision-making, and the gripping art of storytelling – and has leveraged her position to develop and strengthen her ability to curate and tell brand stories.
Dor is originally from Israel and grew up in Prague, Czech Republic. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar and hosting dinners with gluten-free goods.
Connect with Dor on LinkedIn