In Part 1 of this series, Investing in Organizational and Personal Career (link) I explored the need to focus on career development both within your organizations for all your people as well as for your own personal growth. In addition I introduced a new affiliate relationship and featured links to two interesting articles on the web – on why people hate their jobs and career and financial advice for young professionals. Link to last week’s blog to get caught up on this topic. Now looking ahead to 2014, part 2 of this series is about opening up new markets in 2014, and I want to propose a focus on one of the fastest growing and most dynamic segments, the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) market.
One other very important point about the LGBT marketplace is that it is frequently more “brand-loyal” to companies that reach out to them and treat them with respect, and more “brand-punishing” to those companies that do very little to recognize the LGBT community or that even treat them negatively. It seems that on a monthly basis, there is some company that is highly publicized for a misstep with the LGBT community, or one that has done something very special to support the community.
But it goes beyond just the end-consumer! This LGBT market discussion is also important to consider in B2B (or business to business) interactions. Companies that primarily sell to other companies need to be acutely aware that key decision makers they are calling on could be LGBT or strong supporters. Plus an increasing number of very large firms look at potential suppliers’ diversity policies as part of their buying criteria. And many include LGBT-owned businesses as part of their supplier diversity mix and are corporate partners of the NLGCC (National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.)
Through my consulting practice, I can assist you in your LGBT corporate diversity strategy and training; take a look at my services (link) and also take my 13-question GLBT Diversity quiz to see how your organization rates as LGBT-inclusive.
And now through an affiliate partnership with Jenn T. Grace – you can gain the marketing and communications expertise via the “How to Authentically Market to the Gay Community.” Check out the details on my affiliates web page (link) or to start now, link to Jenn’s free introductory video series.
I am hoping to see the economy to continue to improve in 2014, but in addition to growing with that wave, don’t you want to grow faster than the market? Consider a special effort to court and win LGBT business in 2014!