Paul Holmes 14 Nov 2007 // 12:00AM GMT
Approximately one in four (24 percent) gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) adults say they have switched products or service providers because they found a competing company that supports causes that benefit the GLBT community in the past 12 months. The number includes almost one-third (32 percent) of gay men who say they have switched products or services within the last 12 months because they found a competing company that supports GLBT causes.
According to a survey conducted online by Harris Interactive in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, a public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market, an even higher proportion of gay men and lesbians (70 percent) had switched products or service providers because they learned the company engaged in actions that are perceived as harmful to the GLBT community.
In terms of their brand loyalty behavior, about two-thirds (66 percent) of all GLBT adults reported that they would be very or somewhat likely to remain loyal to a brand they believed to be very friendly and supportive to the gay, lesbian and transgender community—even when less friendly companies may offer lower prices or be more convenient. Three out of four (75 percent) gay men and lesbians also said they would remain loyal to the gay-friendlier brand.
“For nearly a decade, we have tested customer loyalty benchmarks, to better understand the connection between GLBT consumers and brand reputations. Consistently, no matter how we frame the questions, we find GLBT consumers place a high value on brands that earn and grow respect within the community,” said Wes Combs, president of Witeck-Combs Communications. “They remain loyal to companies that support causes that are important to them, and are highly motivated to learn about corporate social responsibility in all its forms. They are among consumers most motivated to vote with their dollars.”