Case Study

Getting Messaging Right among the LGBTQ+ Audience


As movements and campaigns like Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, and LGBTQ+ Rights gain traction, more consumers are focused on supporting brands that demonstrate a commitment to equity and acceptance. To meet this demand (and also to be good citizens), brands have been busy researching the best, most authentic ways to support these communities and values.

A rapidly growing supermarket chain expanding into new markets was interested in gaining deeper insights into the LGBTQ+ community to better support and appeal to LGBTQ+ consumers. C+R Research developed a multi-method approach to help the client understand and connect with these consumers.


Devising a Campaign that Connects

Our client, a large, growing supermarket chain, wanted to develop a deeper understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. They hoped to use this knowledge, in part, to identify the most relevant, best-in-class messaging opportunities for reaching this audience.

In addition, our client had four existing messaging campaigns they wanted to test. By testing the messages, the client hoped to identify which messages would resonate best with LGBTQ+ consumers, as well as Gen Pop as a whole, and uncover any potential for messages to offend or alienate. The growing supermarket chain wanted to develop a campaign that would forge strong connections with the LGBTQ+ community and inspire brand loyalty for years to come.


Getting to the Heart of Things With Mixed Methods

To help our client gain a greater understanding of their LGBTQ+ consumers, we devised a three-phase multi-method approach.

First, we hosted a 3-day online discussion board with 30 LGTBQ+ participants. All participants lived within our client’s footprint, were the primary grocery shopper for their household, and had shopped at our client’s store within the past 3 months. During this phase, participants engaged in various online discussions exploring their brand philosophy, joys and pain points with LGBTQ+ advertising, and perceptions about our client’s brand.

The second phase built on learnings from the first round. Specifically, a subset of participants (14) from the online board was invited to complete 60-minute live webcam interviews. During the interviews, we explored participants’ brand and advertising preferences. We also gleaned further insights into feelings about our client’s brand and what it is like to shop in their supermarkets.

Finally, to test reactions to the four messages our client had already developed, we administered a 30-minute online survey within our client’s footprint. Participants included Gen Pop consumers and LGBTQ+ consumers. Respondents evaluated each of the four messaging concepts, sharing their likes and dislikes, interest in seeing the specified advertising, and emotional experience of each ad.

The result

Representation Matters

Through the research process, our client developed a greater understanding of the grocery shopping and advertising needs and expectations of LGBTQ+ consumers. Based on their new understanding, the supermarket chain selected a messaging campaign and devised strategies to better support the LGBTQ+ community. By engaging with research participants, the company also learned an important lesson sure to pay dividends: as long as efforts come across as genuine, the LGBTQ+ community is highly interested in seeing LGBTQ+ representation in advertising.

proven experience

related case studies

take the next step

let’s discuss your upcoming project