Impact Studio Drop #3: Beyond Pride

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Welcome to Impact Studio Drop #03, your bi-weekly deep dive into the new, interesting and occasionally unexpected ways to do cool stuff with creators.

By Dan Stevens, Creative Strategist at Influencer. 

In a world that can often feel increasingly divided and polarised, the need to champion, amplify and stand up for the positive voices and causes we believe in is more crucial than ever. While strides are being made towards a more accepting and inclusive society, the LGBTQIA+ community still faces significant challenges. In 2023 alone, transphobic hate crimes increased by 11%, and the number of homophobic hate crimes has risen by 112% in the past five years.

To combat these inequalities and foster acceptance, the LGBTQIA+ community has long called for authentic and meaningful connections that extend beyond performative actions contained to Pride month in June.

This Drop explores how both brands and creators can leverage their platforms to empower the LGBTQIA+ community. We'll delve into the howwhen, and where of some of these collaborations, paving the way for meaningful and lasting change.

Modern consumers buy into the brands that they believe in and those that share their values. But today, brands looking for a deeper connection with these audiences are needing to go further than ever before to demonstrate those values, ensuring they show up with greater frequency, authenticity and credibility.

The LGBTQIA+ community continues to call for brands to give up performative marketing and invest in initiatives that represent and support them all year round. 79% of consumers want their money to go to a brand they believe in and those who play an active role in improving inclusivity and closing the visibility gap for LGBTQIA+ audiences, will see greater success. Ultimately, consumers will get behind brands they believe truly support them. 

How can brands authentically partner with and advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community?

When?

A rainbow logo in June doesn’t cut it. If a brand wants to be an authentic ally to the community, ditch the performative June bandwagon and commit to being a brand the community can rely on to show up and represent them throughout the year.

Where?

Find where the LGBTQIA+ community are and meet them there. TikTok has nurtured a safe collective space where they can talk and connect while Instagram provides a forum for self expression. And it’s not just online, seek out IRL initiatives that are important to the community and see how your brand can contribute and have an impact.

How?

From making LGBTQIA+ talent the face of your campaign to taking part in trends the community is loving, brands can find many different ways to address under representation. Investing in creators is a great way to show your commitment to being part of the solution and providing visibility. Not only are they participants in the community, they are the changemakers within it, driving conversation and influencing trends. Creators provide a forum through which brands can speak to the community in a relatable and credible way.

The North Face showed up at Pride and beyond 

The North Face joined forces with drag artist @PattieGonia to announce their second year of Summer of Pride, focussed on promoting inclusivity around the outdoors.

When?
Following the launch of a rainbow line in May, Pattie hosted North Face ‘Pride Outside’ events in July and September. The North Face continued to work with Pattie up until mid September, dedicating space on their socials to promote the partnership and share upcoming initiatives.

Where?
On Social: The North Face leveraged Pattie's social presence, posting content on Instagram, both during and after the events to keep up ‘Summer of Pride’ momentum. They also launched an exclusive 'Nature is Magic' line on Pattie's TikTok, giving her audience the first look at the range.
IRL: Demonstrating The North Face’s commitment to outdoor inclusivity, Pattie hosted two Pride Outside events, bringing the LGBTQIA+ community together for a day of workshops, panels and activities. 

How?
Across two lines, two events and a four month campaign, The North Face’s choice to have Pattie represent them, demonstrated genuine investment in the community. While Summer of Pride content was met with some conservative criticism, the brand simply turned off their comments and doubled down on their support for the LGBTQIA+ community, stating that “The North Face has always believed the outdoors should be a welcoming, equitable and safe place for all.”

There’s always improvements to be made to close the visibility gap for the LGBTQIA+ community, and even brands who are doing it well can still do better.

If you want to help bring about meaningful change, you need to find the ways your brand can use its money, time or influence to support and elevate the community. Overall, if brands take a considered and thoughtful approach to when, where and how they show up, they’re far more likely to create a long lasting, meaningful and mutually beneficial association with the LGBTQIA+ community.