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With the rise in awareness of groups and campaigns such as Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, and LGBTQ+ rights, consumers are seeking to support brands that best demonstrate a commitment to promoting equity and acceptance of all. To meet this demand, as well as to be good citizens, brands have needed to quickly uncover the best, and most authentic, means for supporting these diverse cultural groups and their unique needs.

A rapidly growing supermarket chain that was expanding into new markets sought to gain deeper insights into the LGBTQ+ community in order to better support and appeal to LGBTQ+ consumers. They approached C+R Research for help in not only better understanding the needs and wants of this community, but for help evaluating several advertising campaigns to ensure they would not offend or alienate this audience. 

Using a multi-method, qualitative and quantitative approach, we helped our client discover authentic ways to reach and support the LGBTQ+ community and aided them in selecting a messaging campaign that would resonate and help create brand loyalty with consumers in these new markets. 

Problem

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

They also sought to test four messaging campaigns to understand which would resonate best with LGBTQ+ consumers, as well as Gen Pop as a whole. Through this test, the client sought to uncover any potential for the messages to offend or disrespect, as well as which would be the most culturally preferred for the LGBTQ+ audience and, potentially, to help forge strong connections and brand loyalty.

Result

Our client gained a greater understanding of the needs and expectations of LGBTQ+ consumers when it comes to grocery shopping and advertising and was able to devise strategies to better support the LGBTQ+ community. 

They also received feedback on which of their four messages were best received by both the LGBTQ+ community and Gen Pop audiences in general. Two of the four messages were well received by most. The client also learned that LGBTQ+ individuals were highly interested in seeing LGBTQ+ representation in advertising, as long as it comes across as a genuine attempt to support the community.

Solution

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 store footprint, were primary grocery shoppers for their household, and had shopped at our client's store within the past 3 months. During this phase of the study, participants completed various online discussions to allow us to deep dive into their brand philosophy, their joys and pain points with LGBTQ+ advertising, and their perceptions about our client’s brand.

The second phase built on learning from the first round of research. Specifically, a subset of 14 participants from the online board were invited to complete 60-minute live webcam interviews. During these interviews, we uncovered further insights regarding their brand preferences and what makes advertising relevant to them and their lives. We were also able to glean further insights into their feelings on our client's brand and what it is like to shop in their stores.

Finally, to test the reactions of four messages our client had developed to reach the LGBTQ+ market, we administered a 30-minute online survey of customers within our client's footprint, including Gen Pop consumers and LGBTQ+ consumers. Respondents each evaluated four different messaging concepts; the first message evaluated was balanced on gender, age, ethnicity, and income. We collected respondent feedback on their likes and dislikes of each ad, their interest in seeing the specified advertising, and the impact they thought the ads would have toward their feelings about the client. The client sought to discover the best message to use to reach the LGBTQ+ community without alienating them or Gen Pop consumers in general.

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