Helping achieve LGBT equality through commerce and conversation, the Gay Marketing & Advertising Blog examines opportunities for American brands to connect with the loyal and lucrative gay & lesbian consumer.
OK, we made it! The month of September just about killed us here at Merge given the non-stop schedule leading up to the last Pride of the summer season. Dallas enjoyed queer tourists from as far as England, Germany, and Canada. I have no idea at this moment just what the financial impact will be for the Cedar Springs community, but I am sure it will be an eye-opener. This was one of the biggest parade days I have seen in quite a few years. Great music, cute boys and Smirnoff, our final day of Pride was....Prideful. Thank you Dallas LGBT Community for making this such a successful month for us, we appreciate it.
Within our community there is anger and blame for the passing of Prop 8 oh so many months ago. In light of today's ruling let us make this commitment to one another.
Discrimination and division is not a black issue, immigration and separation is not a hispanic issue, the right to equality is not a gay issue. These are all human issues, one's that must be fully resolved to strengthen the very fabric of our society. There are those on the right that welcome these seeds of division, knowing that their power lies on a bed of fear and separateness. To those that would do us harm or seek to divide, I say "No more". To those that say we should be separate and less equal I say "No way".
Right now, our great nation bears the burden of inequality as our allies across the pond embrace full equality for all. Maybe there are some lessons in here for all of us regardless of our sexual orientation or religious beliefs.
It's the simplest of life's pleasures that we seek. The ability to buy a house together, build a life, have a family secure in the knowledge that no one can overturn that commitment. The recognition of the love we share, the desire to have the safety of the law protecting our everyday lives.
We must remember that the election was won on unity, the power of what many like minded individuals can do, knowing that change resides within each and every one of us, the change that we aspire to be or to be a part of every single day. Life is not a dress rehearsal, do not hide who you are, take pride in your uniqueness. Be open with your co-workers, your family and friends for it's those conversations that will pave the way to equality in our near future.
As my grandfather used to say, "You cannot plough a field by turning it over in your mind" ....so forward we go as giving up in not an option.
The latest research is showing that gays and lesbians are continuing to spend more than non-gay homeowners on home improvement projects despite the downturn. On average, gay homeowners plan to spend $2,077 within the next 12 months on various projects around the house while non-gay couples plan to spend only $1,384. The study also showed that gay consumers are seeking premium brands such as Viking, Miele and Sub-Zero.
This post comes from the heart today, not from the strategic side of my brain.
It has been more than 10 years since Matthew Shepard was lured from a gay bar in Laramie, Wyoming with the promise of a ride home. As all of us know, he never returned. The degree to which he was beaten, the level of violence was clear for all to see, it was a hate crime. In spite of the facts, Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican from North Carolina, did everything in her power to twist and malign the truth by standing on the floor of the House of Representatives to say that Matthew's death was the result of a botched robbery. Her level of ignorance and homophobia was absolutely stunning.
After ten long years of education, public speaking, and an unwavering dedication to the cause of equality for all, Judy Shepard was able to see the passage of the hate crime bill known as the Matthew Shepard Act pass the house by a vote of 249 to 175. Next stop, the Senate.
Judy's dedication to our community is an example that we should all follow, every single one of us. Involvement of every lgbt adult and our straight allies will be needed in the months and years ahead.
Judy, thank you so much for all of your hard work.
That headline is part of the question, what do cougars and gays have in common? Money, honey.....and I don't mean Maria Bartiromo.
I had the opportunity to dine with Brian Bolke, famous here in Dallas for his very high-end boutique, Forty Five Ten. While Barney's, Neimans' and Sak's look for ways to cut costs in light of declining sales, 4510's T-Room is busy on this rainy Saturday as the register continues to ring up one sale after another. Brian is relaxed, confident in his environment in spite of the current economic climate. Armed with a degree in design, years of extensive experience in retail marketing and advertising, and an infinite sense of style, he has built a successful business focused on a niche segment of society that gives him the greatest return on his investment, cougars and gays.
Being in retail everyday he has observed that women who have been divorced in the past 4-6 years have been VERY safe with their money, making deposits into large savings accounts and living on the allowance of that account. Fast forward to today and you have a lot of happy, single women that are financially secure in spite of the downturn. Add to that all of his gay customers. More highly educated, double income no kids, most gay individuals are not feeling the pressure of this downturn to the degree of the general market. Confident in their ability to earn, they are the perfect consumer.....a consumer that continues to spend. and spend. and spend.
If your brand is lumping Gays in with African American, Hispanic, Women and Youth all under the "segmented marketing" headline then your brand needs to take a good, hard look at the real difference in the opportunities within those segments.
Winter is here and it's time for the gay masses to head for the mountains; ski's, sunscreen and sexiness in tow. Gay ski week has become such a popular destination that many, many resorts are now catering to the homos that are hoping to find a future love on the slopes or reignite with the one they have. By the time they have arrived from New York, Florida, Texas and California the gays have already dropped a pretty shiny penny on airfare, lodging, lift/party tickets and of course a new ski wardrobe with the latest, tightest Abercrombie tshirt hiding underneath. Aspen was the leader of the pack when it came to launching gay ski week and they were the major player for years. Today you have your pick from Telluride, Whistler, Mammoth, Utah,Tahoe and even Europe among others. If it is deep powder and the feeling of inclusion that you seek, head west for one of the most enjoyable weeks you can imagine.
The economy is as bad as it's been in our life. But even with one depressing report after another, we know that at least one segment is still spending -- LGBT consumers.
The gay demographic has more disposable income and, on average, higher individual and household incomes. Does this mean gay money is "better" than other segments? Certainly not. It simply means there's more of it.
Still, American marketers virtually ignore the gay demographic, especially relative to the budgetary commitments made to general market, Hispanic and African American shoppers. Why? What's it going to take to achieve a more balanced corporate outreach?
American brands depend on gay buyers to keep their business afloat, whether they realize it or not. It's time for all marketers to become more aware of the disparity and to adjust. It's not only right, it's good business.