When "No Good Deed Goes Unpunished”

Posted by Louis Jones • Aug 31, 2023 1:42:09 PM

This recent NYT Article details how companies who are willing supportive of LGBTQ+ consumers and their concerns, can suddenly come under fire. In a continuously pided nation, it seems like a small contingent of non-perse-accepting inpiduals can wreak havoc on companies that have good intentions. More specifically, there seems to be more reported acts of disturbing behavior, as this article describes how anti-gay consumers have taken to destroying property and merchandise at Target - forcing them, sadly, to re-calibrate their LGBTQ+ commitment. Target has been supporting the LGBTQ+ for well over a decade, so why the sudden controversy? In a political environment, where elected officials are loudly denouncing gay lifestyles (and other perse groups), the path has been paved for the strongly conservative-minded to physically and vocally demonstrate their discord.

Following the BUD Light debacle companies are now fearful that a sales backlash can occur and are either pulling their support or curtailing their plans to be a bit more incognito. It is somehow ironic that a nation founded on the principles of freedom is now faced with a significant portion of the populace that wants to restrict freedoms and sweep whole cultures under the carpet. Diversity will continue to happen and perhaps this is the true fear - that said portion of the populace feels marginalized and is therefore lashing out against all difference. From a business point of view, this is vexing. Many companies realize the need to be inclusive (whether they are approaching it correctly is another story), but to be haggled for it is a conundrum. Suddenly businesses are challenged by being doubly indifferent - overlooking opportunities to cultivate different cultures and then suffering the longer term sales consequence of supporting difference.

Here are few suggestions for brands looking to show their support of communities of difference:

  • Focus in on which communities can really impact your business. Prioritize the most productive groups, rather than try to cover them all.
  • Your internal Teams and partners should have some semblance of persity, to guide decision-making in a thoughtful and inclusive way.
  • Stick to your guns! Remember, you made a business decision, see it through (do not cave to vitriol of a few).
  • Engage with your communities of choice regularly and build brand preference.
  • Encourage your teams to always do the right thing in the face of controversy.

Topics: LGBTQ