Diana Bradley
Jun 7, 2023

Target ranked as top brand in support of LGBTQIA+ community

The survey took place after Target removed some items from its Pride merchandise following a backlash.

Target has been the focus of a conservative boycott. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
Target has been the focus of a conservative boycott. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Americans have ranked Target as the best company in terms of supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, according to the Corporate Courage index.

The results come from a national online survey of 1,007 U.S. media consumers and media workers, age 18 and older, conducted by Propeller Insights on behalf of PR and marketing firm Bospar from June 1 to 4. The index is a worldwide ranking of consumer perception of brands’ support of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

In the U.S., Disney, Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Apple rounded out the top five brands. The bottom five were The Body Shop, Lego, Miller Coors, Coach and Chick-fil-A. Bospar does not represent any brands on the list.

Amongst the LGBTQIA+ community, Target also ranked first, followed by Apple, Disney, Nike and Levi’s.

The bottom five included: Kohl’s, Reebok, Coach, Miller Coors and Chick-fil-A.      

Curtis Sparrer, principal of Bospar, said he is surprised Target topped the list in the U.S.

In recent weeks, Target has suffered the wrath of anti-LGBTQ activists. The retailer made the decision to remove some items from its Pride merchandise because of violent confrontations with its workers. In some locations, Pride merchandise was moved to a smaller section at the back of the store.

“Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most confrontational behavior,” Target said in a statement. “Our focus now is on moving forward with our continuing commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community and standing with them as we celebrate Pride Month and throughout the year.

 

A Target representative could not be reached for comment on the rankings.

The Corporate Courage index results confirmed Sparrer’s suspicion that a brand’s audience isn’t as swift to react as media professionals. 

“I suspect the details of Target’s missteps have yet to inculcate into the national consciousness, or even the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Sparrer. 

But that doesn’t mean Target is not in trouble, he warned. 

“The news of Target’s Pride rollback will eventually seep into everyone’s minds, making it imperative for Target’s comms team to act now,” said Sparrer. 

The index’s results also showed a majority of Americans (68.7%) identify as members of “the right” as opposed to “the left,” and a majority (56.6%) said they support the LGBQTIA+ community. Most (51.8%) said brands should have specific marketing campaigns celebrating LGBTQIA+ people, ethnic minorities and women. 

The survey also found that 59% said they would buy more from brands that supported these communities. Most Americans (58.1%) believe the right is most successful at getting brands to bend to their point of view. Over a third (34.6%) said they would penalize a brand for backtracking its support of the LGBTQIA+ community by buying from a competitor that had not done so. 

“As one would expect, age plays a role in perception, expectations and actions,” Jorge Ayala, principal of Propeller Insights said.

The survey found that younger groups are more likely to want brands to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, ethnic minorities or women (61% among those ages 18-24 vs 41% among those 65-plus. Those ages 18-24 are also almost twice as likely as those 65-plus to switch from a brand that rejects the LGBTQIA+ community to one that supports it (45% vs 23%, respectively).

Source:
PRWeek

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