Bravo, Apple, Showtime, HBO, Absolut and Levi’s are the gay-friendliest brands, whereas Wal-Mart, Dunkin’ Donuts, Cracker Barrel, Exxon Mobil and Samsung are the least gay-friendly, according to (pdf) the 2008 Prime Access/PlanetOut Gay and Lesbian Consumer Study.
More than two-thirds (68%) of gay and lesbian consumers say they are more likely to buy from a company they consider gay-friendly – a perception they base largely on a company’s advertising, followed by input from friends and the media, the study found.
The study also found that 71% of gay and lesbian consumers say they have a more favorable impression of companies or products that feature gay imagery in their advertising. Howard Buford, president and CEO of Prime Access, noted that Levi’s, one of the top gay-friendly brands, recently featured a gay couple in television advertising.
The survey was conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo on behalf of ad agency Prime Access and media and entertainment company PlanetOut, Inc.
“Gays and lesbians have many similarities to straight people, with one pronounced difference: they’re more powerful consumers,” said Kevyn Aiken, VP of Marketing, Media Sales at PlanetOut.
For example, Aiken said the study revealed that gays and lesbians are almost twice as likely (60% vs. 34%) as their straight counterparts to say people seek their advice.
“In virtually every category – from financial services to fragrance – the study shows that gays and lesbians tend to be ahead of the curve when it comes to embracing new products and trends. They are early adopters that their peers look to for advice, opinions, and ideas. As a result of their influence, they impact many more purchases than just their own.”
Among other notable findings in the 2008 Prime Access/PlanetOut Gay and Lesbian Consumer Report:
- 8% of adults in the general population panel identified as gay or lesbian, reflecting conventional wisdom that 5-10% of adults are gay.
- Sexual orientation is the primary community with which gays and lesbians identify. 47% of gays and lesbians said their sexual orientation is the community that most defines them, followed by gender (45%) and religion (28%). This compares to gender (36%), nationality (32%), and religion (30%) for the general population.
- While almost three-fourths of both gays and lesbians and the general population are opposed to outing, 61% of gays and lesbians support outing if an individual is actively opposed to equal rights. Only 33% of the general population agrees.
- 69% of gays and lesbians are Democrats, while 7% are Republicans.
The report also surveyed 3,156 PlanetOut subscriber and reader respondents, drawn from email promotable lists provided by PlanetOut. Notable finding among this group:
- 85% of PlanetOut respondents said they are more likely to purchase products from companies they know are gay-friendly.
- PlanetOut respondents are 36% more likely than the general population to consider themselves “someone in the know.”
About the study: The 2008 Prime Access/PlanetOut Gay and Lesbian Consumer Report is a study of gay and lesbian consumer habits and brand perceptions. The study was conducted by Clark, Martire & Bartolomeo. The respondents were sourced from both the Harris Interactive general population panel and from Harris Interactive’s GLBT specialty panel. A total of 2,259 adults aged 18-64 participated in the study, broken down as follows: general population, 1,502; gay and lesbian population: 757. The Harris Interactive GLBT specialty panel is recruited from various sources, and is not specifically enlisted from gay and lesbian websites. In addition, 3,156 PlanetOut subscriber and reader respondents, drawn from email promotable lists provided by PlanetOut, were also surveyed. The PlanetOut “universe” includes readers/subscribers of Out, The Advocate, gay.com, out.com, planetout.com and outtraveler.com. An online methodology was selected primarily for the critical anonymity it offers respondents.