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More than a rainbow | A brand guide to Pride

brand guide for navigating pride

As Pride Month approaches, brands face a critical decision: whether to authentically participate in the movement or risk engaging in tokenistic endeavors. In an era where authenticity is paramount, it is crucial to approach Pride Month with genuine intentions and avoid superficial displays of support.

Before going full steam ahead on June 1, evaluate whether a Pride-focused campaign is right for your brand. Ask yourself: Is celebrating Pride part of the fabric of my brand, or am I merely jumping on the rainbow bandwagon for 30 days without a deeper commitment?

If Pride is part of who you are, see below for a starter guide on embracing Pride Month authentically and meaningfully.

Align Your Messaging and Tone

Ensure that your messaging and tone across all brand communications align with the spirit of Pride Month. Embrace inclusivity, respect, and celebration in your language, avoiding stereotypes or tokenism. Be sensitive to the diverse experiences within the LGBTQ+ community and approach your content with empathy and authenticity.

Integrate Pride Elements into Visual Branding

Incorporate Pride elements into your visual branding to showcase your support--and get creative! While Pride-ifying your brand can include incorporating rainbow colors and/or LGBTQ+ symbols, you can also take it a step further and collaborate with LGBTQ+ artists to create custom artwork. The key here is to maintain consistency with your brand identity while adding a touch of Pride.

Design Pride-Themed Products or Merchandise

Consider designing special Pride-themed products or merchandise that align with your brand. Whether it's a limited-edition collection or customized items, make sure they are thoughtful, inclusive and resonate with your audience. Don't forget to donate a portion of the proceeds to LGBTQ+ organizations to further demonstrate your commitment.

Showcase Employee Stories and Diversity

Highlighting the voices and stories of consenting LGBTQ+ employees is another option for joining the Pride Month conversation. If it makes sense for your brand, highlight experiences, achievements and contributions. This both celebrates diversity within your organization and amplifies authentic voices to fosters inclusivity.

Create Engaging Social Media + Email Marketing Campaigns

Develop creative and engaging social media campaigns centered around Pride Month. Use relevant hashtags, share informative and empowering content and collaborate with LGBTQ+ influencers or organizations if it makes sense for your brand. You can also encourage user-generated content by inviting your audience to share their own stories and experiences.

Integrate Pride Month themes into your email marketing campaigns. Craft personalized and inclusive messages that resonate with your subscribers. Consider offering exclusive promotions or discounts to celebrate Pride and show appreciation to your LGBTQ+ customers.

Engage and Partner with LGBTQ+ Causes and Organizations

Actively engage with and partner with LGBTQ+ causes and organizations to support their initiatives. Participate in fundraising events, sponsor community programs or collaborate on awareness campaigns to demonstrate a genuine commitment to making a positive impact and fosters strong relationships within the LGBTQ+ community.

Educate Your Audience

If and when it makes sense, use your platform to educate your audience about LGBTQ+ history, current issues and resources. Are you a fashion brand? Share stories are LBGTQ+ fashion icons. Arts organization? Highlight community members who have made an impact in your space.

You can also share informative articles, infographics, videos or interviews that promote understanding and acceptance. Engage in conversations and be open to learning from your audience and the LGBTQ+ community.

Foster Inclusivity Beyond Pride Month

Remember that inclusivity should be an ongoing commitment beyond Pride Month. Incorporate LGBTQ+ representation and diverse perspectives into your branding, campaigns and company culture throughout the year. This demonstrates your dedication to creating a more inclusive society.

Remember that diversity matters every day, not just during designated months.

Measure Impact and Learn

Continuously measure the impact of your Pride Month initiatives. Monitor engagement, feedback and the overall sentiment from your audience. Remember that negative feedback is another opportunity to listen and grow. Learn from the process, adapt your strategies, and make improvements for future Pride Month celebrations.

In the realm of diversity-focused brand activations like Pride, it's essential to move beyond tokenization and embrace genuine inclusion and support for the LGBTQ+ community.

As you navigate how to weave Pride into your brand's emails, social media, branding and more, remember that it's not just about slapping a rainbow logo on your materials. It's about authentically celebrating diversity, amplifying authentic voices, and partnering with LGBTQ+ causes and organizations. By highlighting the experiences and contributions of LGBTQ+ employees, you can showcase their value and foster an inclusive work environment. However, it's crucial to avoid tokenization and ensure that your efforts are part of a comprehensive strategy for equality and inclusivity throughout the year.

Let your actions reflect your commitment to creating lasting change, going beyond the superficial and embracing the true spirit of Pride. Together, we can build a more inclusive society where every voice is heard, valued and celebrated.

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