How many of us know what part of the total population belongs to the LGBTQ+ community? The surveys are limited. This is traced to two things. The number of closeted people afraid to come out, and unsafe environments. This is why it is harder to picture the LGBTQ+ consumer market.
But if this was the case, then companies should have had a holdback to produce rainbow-colored products during pride season. Their success rate during the pride season will give them a good analysis of the market. This is how we know that the LGBTQ+ consumer market undervalued greatly.
Before we jump right to it, spare a moment to think if we really require products and services targetted at the LGBTQ+? Is this about representation or sheer capitalism? Should the media address us individually? Will this affect our demand for equality?
And finally, are we overthinking it?
So here’s an estimate I found on Medium because I needed a baseline to explain and expand on the several elements that add to this entire affair.
The global LGBT community would have the 4th-largest GDP in the world if it were a country.
Mind-Blown? Yes, me too. There are many reasons why the LGBTQ+ consumer market would have a GDP of this size. And it has little to do with safe atmospheres and being closeted.
Here is a list of reasons why the community makes for a market that demands immediate tapping
1. Most places only permit heterosexual marriages.
This means that the travel industry can boom drastically with promotions of weddings in countries that are legal. Wedding-related services and products can find alternatives to the heteronormative rituals of weddings and create a brand new niche. What this also means that the homosexuals have money to spare since they cannot invest in weddings or children, which is a huge amount.
The Quint mentioned that in India alone, people spend around $10 Billion on maintaining close relatives and over $4.8 Billion on Gifts abroad. They also spend around $10 Billion dollars travelling. This is an estimate of the total population. Considering our baseline, this still provides a huge scope for the businesses and brands to invest.
An average medium-sized wedding in India costs over 20 Lakh. And raising a child for 21 years costs over 55 Lakh. This is just the middle-class society in the country. And the numbers of the upper classes will obviously be higher than this. Which means even within the country, the businesses have a huge market to invest
2. No Backlash:
As mentioned in the Medium, companies would face severe backlash and see a drop in the sales if they leaned towards the LGBTQ+ agenda. But we are a better position now. Section 377 falling into place in India, countries legalizing same-sex marriage, same-sex intercourse help aid this extension of businesses. Even the support to people who are transitioning has seen a surge. This increased awareness, and at least a partial set of people courageously coming out can push brands to tap on the LGBTQ+ consumer market.
3. LGBT seeks LGBT+
This is simple logic. The LGBTQ+ community in India or abroad find and support companies that are LGBT+ inclusive. Not only do these customers follow the brands, but they are also extremely loyal to them. Support is answered with support.
Recently, Apple was questioned about its lack of LGBTQ+ representation and received an angry front of the community.
But all of this has to come from a source of sincere genuineity.
And the proper understanding of what people of the LGBTQ+ community want. Along with market research, research about the problems of the community, and better consumer servicing has to be undertaken. This includes addressing people in their preferred pronouns. And working within their limitations and boundaries, and most importantly protection and security.
The LGBTQ+ community is portrayed and perceived as vulnerable. And it comes with its own set of sensitivities. But this does not mean that the community should not be taken for a ride. Most brands show their solidarity with the community only during the pride season. Which the community clearly appreciates. As soon as the clock strikes 12, the drop in representation and unity is also noticed. That’s how much even small gesture of support means. And that is another reason why it is easier to build a loyal customer base.
Only a few industries have taken to the LGBTQ+ cause. This includes travel, fashion, makeup, and several other niche businesses. Why is it so hard to represent the community? Brands have overcome the biggest of diversities and presented love and unity regularly. So, is sexual orientation and gender identity really that hard?
Finally, dear LGBTQ+, it’s clearly time we spend and invest wiser. We are a sensitive bunch who care about animals, pollution, sustainability and being non-judgemental. It’s time we become better customers and keep ourselves from being excited anytime anyone shows us a little bit of support. This is our right and not a luxury. Nobody is doing us a favor. Claim what’s yours without hesitation.