As we settle into June, we reflect on the importance of pride and why businesses should be implementing pride recognition into their branding campaigns. Pride is a special month dedicated to members of the LGBTQIA+ community, acknowledging their importance and acceptance within society. Some brands have perfected what it means to be a contributor towards pride within their branding during this month, and other brands unfortunately are just getting it all wrong, whether you’re a small business or huge business.
If you are wondering if it is worth implementing pride into your brand campaigns this month, the answer is yes, but only for good reason. As much as everyone can benefit, and even profit from, implementing a theme of pride into their branding, you should only be doing so with a complete understanding of what pride means.
Pride campaigns can be extremely beneficial for visibility, as well as diversifying your consumer and employee community. Showing support for the LGBTQIIA+ community is to show where your values lie as a business. Whilst adding a random addition to your branding logo, as many businesses have, is a powerful change, it is simply not enough to exemplify your comradery with the rainbow community. There are a dozen more actionable steps that can be implemented to elevate your very own pride branding campaigns, and we will share just a few ideas within this blog post.
Why your brand should be taking part in pride
If you hope to be identified as a business that values community and diversity, recognising the importance of pride should be at the top of your list of priorities. If you have very loosely shown your recognition for pride and support for the cause, now is the time to solidify your views to your consumers. Be honest with what you represent, will your business not hear a peep of pride until it comes back around for June next year? Whilst pride month is a month to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ and show our participation, unfairly using this opportunity to profit from your campaigns should not be an option.
More should be done throughout your running of the business such as regularly continuing towards charities for the cause, highlighting the business’s desire to see real progress. With 15% of gen z adults identifying as queer, brands who are failing to acknowledge this community are condemning their business to lack the growth that queer-positive brands will see. ‘Rainbow washing’ is prominent during this time of the year. Brands temporarily show their solidarity for the cause, only to remove the rainbow flag and not speak a word of it until it’s time to profit from it once more. If you are going to take part in pride in your branding campaigns, make sure it is for the reasons of making change and widely spreading your efforts towards acceptance within the community. Rainbow fishing will be quickly called out by consumers, and you do want to face the backlash of angry members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
What would a successful pride campaign look like?
Regardless of what type of campaign you choose to roll out when relating to pride, they should all host the same values. The message of community and acceptance should be prevalent, whisky also highlights the following attributes:
Authenticity can not be bought or displayed through the rose-tinted glass. Instead, authenticity needs to be homegrown if you hope to relay the message through your branding campaigns. Your pride branding campaign will perform much better as long as you make sure it feels natural and also connects to a wide spread of people. Make it a story that people can resonate with, and also remember once pride is over. Copying what other brands are doing is one of the fastest ways to be forgotten!
Pride branding is not all about bringing in consumers and making masses of profit. Pride is a movement, and for this to happen there will be people who are not happy with your diversity objectives. You might even expect to face backlash from people who perhaps were a part of your customer’s focus previously. The aim of this campaign should be to show your alliance with all communities, and if that means you lose a percentage of your consumer base, the brand’s selflessness will be recognized regardless. Rest assured, you will gain much more than you lose!
A simple logo chance is just not going to cut it this year. Year after year we are seeing so much creativity from the brand’s most dedicated to the cause. To stand out within the crow of popularity you need to get creative. You can take inspiration from some of 2023’s pride branding campaigns, including Gillette’s “first shave” creative ad.
As we have touched on, being committed to the cause is more complex than removing the rainbow logo as soon as it hits July 1st. If you wish to reflect your dedication to the cause of the brand, you need to be committed to your efforts. You don’t have to be pride focused all year round, but at least showing your acknowledgement for the community within your branding, products, and also social presence throughout the year is a simple way you can show your deviation towards the cause.
No rainbow washing!
It goes without saying, but any obvious signs of “rainbow fishing” within your campaigns will not be taken lightly by the LGBTQIA+ community. It is okay to be new to the cause and take the first steps to increase your business’s diversity. However, it is not okay to temporarily jump onto the bandwagon to boost sales. Brands who are blatantly doing such behaviour are being quickly dealt with online, ultimately defacing the accountability of the brand. Avoid the hassle, and make sure you are implementing a pride branding campaign for all the right reasons.
Ideas for carrying out your pride campaign
Now you have an understanding of what personal objectives you should have in place when setting up a pride branding campaign, take a look at actionable ways you can show your synergy:
Your advertising for pride should be centred around LGBTQ+. Showcasing your action towards the cause and the sense of responsibility that your brand has is one of the best ways to relay the message in your advertisement. You might centre your online ads, social media posts and other online presence platforms, around LGBTQIA+ and raising awareness for why you are choosing to take part in the movement.
Company pride celebrations
Your pride campaign should be an overall strategy that doesn’t just end with posts you share with your consumer base. It should start from within the business, and that means spreading pride awareness throughout the business. This can be as simple as offering employee gifts like pride rainbow cupcakes, or possibly hosting a company event to raise money towards a charity dedicated to the cause. If you can show your campaign aligns with you as a brand, you are much more likely to find success!
Limited edition products
If you offer products rather than a service, you might consider creating a limited edition line of products tailored to a pride theme. Only do this if you have the budget, and are willing to put in the work to share awareness of this limited edition range. You might even take things a step further and contribute a portion of the profits made towards an LGBTQIA+ charity of your choice. This will be well-recognised by consumers and brands alike, and you will become a valuable brand within the queer community!
Diversity in hiring practices
A huge part of showing your solidarity within the LGBTQIA+ community is releasing how diverse your business is. You should take some time to review the diversity within your company and make sure the policies are supportive of all genders and identities. Everyone within our business must feel understood and heard, so consider opening up a suggestion box in your business for how your staff would like to feel more preferred. Diversifying your hiring practice especially should be a priority if your business currently lacks diversity.
Overall, understanding the importance of pride camping is the first step towards implementing a successful one. All industries are constantly evolving, and businesses that fail to accept the new norms will quickly fall behind. Pride is a way of life, and it should evoke a sense of acceptance and community within your business. Sharing your support for the cause in a creative pride branding campaign is to make a purposeful impact, whilst also sharing the diversity of your business. Enlisting the help of a branding agency in Manchester might give you the edge you have been looking for, so don’t worry if you need a bit of help!