The LGBT segment is in growing in stature and influence in the U.S. And, as with
mainstream attitudes on LGBT civil rights issues like same-sex marriage, the LGBT
community is rapidly evolving. It is a group that wants to be included in the consumer
landscape and portrayed accurately – as professional, loving, responsible, multicultural
people with varied interests, family situations, and morals.
Research by Harris Interactive in 2013 showed that up to seven percent of the adult U.S.
population was willing to self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender. That
translates to between 15-16 million adults. The buying power of LGBT Americans is
projected to be $830 billion, based on a recent analysis by Witek Communications.
Many marketers are just now discovering the immense buying power and influence of
this segment. But they’re not exactly sure how to reach out to this segment in a way that
affirms their identities without pandering. The LGBT category is diverse in ethnicity and
socioeconomic status, and an incredibly loyal constituency – provided marketers
understand how to reach them. And more than any other segment, LGBTs look at not just
what a company says but what it does. LGBTs do their research: a company with a gay-
friendly ad but not-so-friendly policies for its LGBT employees isn’t likely to win favor
with this group.
For more than fifteen years, New American Dimensions has been analyzing the evolution
of LGBT identity. We’ve conducted vanguard studies on the segment that showed
marketers this group’s strongly held opinions about media representation, multiple
identities, and preferences about the way they want to be treated by companies. With our
broad and deep experience in surveying LGBTs that cross racial and ethnic boundaries,
we can give marketers a more nuanced and more helpful understanding of their identities,
tastes, and needs.