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Marketing to LGBTs - US - April 2010

As marketers look for ways to create brand relationships, many develop highly-targeted communications designed to boost brand appeal among specific segments of the population. Many companies are strengthening relationships with the LGBT community, which has an average household income well above the national average and high levels of disposable income.

This report provides in-depth research and analysis of the shopping and spending patterns of LGBTs in the US, as well the types of advertisements and marketing initiatives that companies have used to appeal to this segment.

More specifically, this report addresses the following questions:

  • How do the average household incomes and disposable incomes of LGBTs differ from other segments?
  • About what proportion of the population consider themselves to be gay or bisexual?
  • What types of foods to LGBTs tend to enjoy the most and what channels to they frequent when shopping for food and beverage?
  • How are the shopping and spending patterns of LGBTs within non-food categories similar to or distinct from those of the general population?
  • How are the travel patterns of LGBTs distinct from the general population?
  • What roles do technology and the internet play in the lifestyles of LGBTs?
  • What types of activities do LGBTs enjoy doing at home and away from home?
  • How do LGBTs react to marketing that is specifically directed at the segment?
  • How does the general population tend to react to advertisements with LGBT imagery?
  • What types of imagery and messaging have agencies used in advertisements directed at the LGBT segment?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising clips
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                      • Market background
                        • Communicate with LGBTs in LGBT and mainstream channels
                          • Food category spending
                            • Food channels
                              • Non-food categories excluding technology and travel
                                • Non-food channels
                                  • Travel
                                    • Technology spending
                                      • Internet activities
                                        • Activities away from home
                                          • Activities at home
                                            • LGBT attitudes
                                            • Insights and Opportunities

                                              • Gay marriage likely to drive travel and create economic benefits to states and companies
                                                • Communicate with LGBTs in LGBT and mainstream channels
                                                  • Target LGBTs with Sustainable Nutrition
                                                  • Inspire Insights

                                                    • Who are the Joneses?
                                                      • What's it about?
                                                        • What we've seen
                                                          • Specifics
                                                            • Implications
                                                            • Market Background

                                                              • Key points
                                                                • High incomes and disposable incomes make LGBTs a potentially valuable segment for many firms
                                                                  • Figure 1: Income, Education, and employment comparisons between married different-sex couples, unmarried different-sex couples, and same-sex couples (spouses and unmarried)
                                                                  • Figure 2: Income, Education, and employment comparisons between married different-sex couples, unmarried different-sex couples, and same-sex couples (spouses and unmarried)
                                                                • Gay marriage has positive economic impact; could help cash-strapped states and municipalities
                                                                  • Figure 3: States and municipalities in which gay unions are most recognized, by date
                                                                • LGBTs in every county of every state, concentrated on the coasts
                                                                  • Figure 4: States with highest proportions of same sex couples, 2008
                                                                • LGBTs somewhat more diverse than general population
                                                                  • Figure 5: Race/ethnicity of individuals in same-sex vs married couples, 2007
                                                              • Food Category Spending

                                                                • Key points
                                                                  • LGBTs more likely to report increase in spending on local and organic
                                                                    • Figure 6: Changes in spending on locally grown and organic food, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                    • Figure 7: Changes in spending on locally grown and organic food, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                  • LGBTs somewhat more likely to report drinking alcohol
                                                                    • Figure 8: Changes in spending on alcoholic beverages, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                  • LGBT fast food consumption mirrors general population
                                                                    • Figure 9: Changes in spending on fast food, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                  • LGBT eating preferences reflect a focus on health and gourmet appeal
                                                                    • Figure 10: Changes in spending on supplements, food and beverages, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                • Food Channels

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Use of mainstream food channels mirrors that of general population
                                                                      • Figure 11: Changes in spending on food and beverages in food channels, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                    • Nearly 1 in 5 report increased spending at grocery stores in last year
                                                                      • Figure 12: Changes in spending on food and beverages in supermarkets, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                    • Natural and Gourmet channel popular with LGBTs
                                                                      • Figure 13: Changes in spending on food and beverages in specialty and online food channels, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                  • Non-Food Categories Excluding Technology and Travel

                                                                    • Key points
                                                                      • LGBTs more likely to spend on cookware and furniture, despite recession
                                                                        • Figure 14: Changes in spending on kitchenware and furniture, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                      • LGBTs spend more than average in a variety of categories
                                                                        • Figure 15: Changes in spending on selected non-food items, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                    • Non-Food Channels

                                                                      • Key points
                                                                        • LGBTs less likely than general population to report increased spending in value channels
                                                                            • Figure 16: Changes in spending on non-food items in selected channels, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                          • LGBTs much more likely to report increased spending at specialty stores
                                                                            • Figure 17: Changes in spending on non-food items in selected specialty stores and websites, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                        • Travel

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • LGBTs spending less than they have in the past but expenditures still above average
                                                                              • Figure 18: Changes in spending on travel and travel accessories, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                              • Figure 19: Changes in spending on travel and travel accessories, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                            • Staycations and regional trips replace some trips outside home state
                                                                              • Figure 20: Travel compared to the previous year, December 2009
                                                                            • Word-of-mouth the key driver of location decisions
                                                                              • Figure 21: Motivators for destination selection when visiting a city or country, December 2009
                                                                            • Most book directly with airline or hotel
                                                                              • Figure 22: Method used to purchase most recent vacation, December 2009
                                                                            • Urban centers with large LGBT communities most popular destinations
                                                                              • Figure 23: Top 25 US destinations for LGBT travelers and percentage of visitors who spent a night in a hotel (combined leisure and business travel ranking), December 2009
                                                                              • Figure 24: Top European travel destinations for American LGBT travelers, December 2009
                                                                            • Gay pride events motivate many to travel
                                                                              • Figure 25: Travel for LGBT events, December 2009
                                                                            • Websites that serve LGBT travelers
                                                                            • Technology Spending

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • LGBTs more likely than general population to increase technology spending in last year
                                                                                  • Figure 26: Changes in spending on selected electronic items, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                • Income is a key driver of heavy tech spending
                                                                                  • Figure 27: Changes in spending on selected electronic items, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                              • Internet Activities

                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                  • Many LGBTs are heavy internet users
                                                                                    • Figure 28: Changes in use of various internet activities, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                  • LGBTs significantly more likely to report spending more time uploading
                                                                                    • Figure 29: Changes in adding content to various internet sites, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                • Activities Away from Home

                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                    • LGBTs often spend more on entertainment
                                                                                      • Figure 30: Money budgeted for entertainment, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                    • LGBTs more likely to enjoy the arts and dining, despite the economy
                                                                                      • Figure 31: Changes in spending on entertainment away from home, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                  • Activities at Home

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • LGBTs somewhat more likely to report entertainment and reading more at home
                                                                                        • Figure 32: Changes in spending on entertainment at home, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                    • LGBT Attitudes

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Many searching for equality in society and the workplace
                                                                                          • Figure 33: Attitudes towards LGBT issues, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                        • Homophobia steadily declining—acceptance of LGBTs rising
                                                                                          • Figure 34: Approval for same-sex marriage, 1977-2009
                                                                                        • Millennials (Gen Yers) are particularly gay-friendly
                                                                                          • Figure 35: Approval for same-sex marriage, 1996-2009
                                                                                      • Advertising and Promotion

                                                                                        • LGBT imagery ideal for ads in LGBT media outlets and in mainstream channels that LGBTs frequent
                                                                                          • Whether to use LGBT in mainstream channels depends on audience
                                                                                            • LGBT ads relatively common but print spend declined at beginning of recession
                                                                                              • Figure 36: Ad sales for LGBT print publications, 1994-2007
                                                                                            • Bravo viewed as most “gay-friendly” brand
                                                                                              • Figure 37: Brands viewed as being most gay-friendly, LGBT vs. general population, 2008
                                                                                            • Review of LGBT ads
                                                                                              • Highly targeted LGBT ads
                                                                                                • Ads with subtle LGBT imagery
                                                                                                  • Examples of LGBT news sites
                                                                                                    • Television ads with LGBT imagery and messaging
                                                                                                      • Figure 38: ABC Modern Family Ad, 2009
                                                                                                      • Figure 39: Interactive male ad, 2009
                                                                                                      • Figure 40: LOGO RuPaul's Drag Race ad, 2009
                                                                                                      • Figure 41: National Equality Rally ad, 2009
                                                                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                      • Participators
                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                              • Travelers
                                                                                                                • Demographics
                                                                                                                  • Characteristics
                                                                                                                    • Opportunity
                                                                                                                      • Networkers
                                                                                                                        • Demographics
                                                                                                                          • Characteristics
                                                                                                                            • Opportunity
                                                                                                                              • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                • Figure 42: Marketing to LGBT clusters, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Entertainment budget, by marketing to LGBT clusters, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Use of online media, by marketing to LGBT clusters, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 45: LGBT attitudes, by marketing to LGBT clusters, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 46: Number of trips for business and leisure travel, by marketing to LGBT clusters, January 2010
                                                                                                                              • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                • Figure 47: Marketing to LGBT clusters, by gender, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 48: Marketing to LGBT clusters, by age, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Marketing to LGBT clusters, by household income, January 2010
                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Marketing to LGBT clusters, by sexual orientation, January 2010
                                                                                                                              • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                              • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                • Online reviews important to many LGBTs, especially in tech purchases
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Category usage, by use of online reviews, January 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Partner with bloggers to review eco-friendly and tech products
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 52: Category usage, by use of blogs, January 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Ads on social networking sites can be an effective means of promotion
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 53: Category usage, by use of social networking sites, January 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Additional Income Comparisons

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 54: Changes in spending on alcoholic beverages, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Changes in spending on fast food, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 56: Changes in spending on selected foods and beverages, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 57: Changes in spending on entertainment, food and other, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 58: Money budgeted for entertainment, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 59: Changes in spending on entertainment at home, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 60: Changes in spending on kitchenware and furniture, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 61: Changes in use of various internet activities, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 62: Changes in spending on entertainment away from home, by household income, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Additional Age Comparisons

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 63: Changes in spending on food and beverages in food channels, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Changes in spending on food and beverages in supermarkets and dollar stores, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 65: Changes in spending on non-food items in selected specialty stores and websites, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 66: Changes in spending on entertainment away from home, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 67: Money budgeted for entertainment, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Changes in spending on kitchenware and furniture, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Changes in spending on travel and travel accessories and other selected non-food items, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Changes in spending on entertainment at home, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Changes in spending on entertainment, food and other, by age, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Additional Sexual Orientation Comparisons

                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Changes in spending in supermarkets and dollar stores, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Changes in spending on supplements, food and beverages, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Changes in spending on selected non-food items, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Changes in spending on non-food items in selected specialty stores and websites, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Changes in spending on entertainment, food and other, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Changes in spending on selected electronic items, by sexual orientation, October 2009 and January 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Appendix – Trade-related Associations

                                                                                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                      • Albertsons Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Amy's Kitchen Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • AT&T Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Bank of America Corporation
                                                                                                                                      • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Flickr
                                                                                                                                      • Frito-Lay, Inc
                                                                                                                                      • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • J C Penney Company, Inc
                                                                                                                                      • Macy's, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • MySpace.com
                                                                                                                                      • Netflix, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Orbitz Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • Safeway Inc
                                                                                                                                      • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                                      • The Kroger Co.
                                                                                                                                      • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                                      • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                                      • U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                                      • Wells Fargo & Company
                                                                                                                                      • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                                      Marketing to LGBTs - US - April 2010

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