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What Matters: Factors Influencing Gay Consumers’ Evaluations Of “Gay-Friendly” Corporate Activities

Journal of Public Policy & Marketing

Gillian W. Oakenfull


Over the past decade, many corporations have shown an increased willingness to move ahead of public policy in affording equal rights to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees. In addition, corporate America spends billions of dollars each year targeting members of the LGBT population in the marketplace. Most recently, corporations have begun to take a public stance as advocates for equal treatment of LGBT individuals under the law. However, corporations’ treatment of the LGBT population as a unified market may indicate that research on this group lacks granularity. Using demographics and social identity information, this research identifies important market differences between gay males and lesbians that can better inform corporations’ promotional expenditure and segmentation decisions when approaching the gay consumer market. The findings of this research suggest that it is important that companies avoid treating gay consumers as a group with monolithic preferences and perceptions. An individual's sex and identity with the gay community have a significant impact on perceptions of the gay-friendliness of various corporate activities.

Lgbtq+, Segmentation And Targeting, Gay Consumers, Lesbian Consumers, Bisexual Consumers, Transgender Consumers, Public Policy, Equal Treatment


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