Marketing the Rainbow
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Banks, insurance companies and credit cards are the principal players in this market - other providers of financial services, such as accountants do not really target the individual consumer. Only a handful of advertisers, such as American Express, have sought the business-to-business market in the US, targeting 800,000 to 1.2 million gay and lesbian-owned businesses (as estimated by the National Lesbian & Gay Chamber of Commerce).
Many of these companies are blue chip, and operate nationwide. This gives them a status of more than just a local supplier, but bigger exposure and additional responsibilities, for instance towards shareholders. They also have a function as role model.
While some financial service providers such as Aetna Life & Casualty, Chase Manhattan Corp., Citibank and Merrill Lynch & Co. have tested the market, few have made the leap to gay-specific campaigns.
But as the financial services category becomes more crowded, some players such as Prudential are creating messages more tailored to possible gay and lesbian patrons.
Most developments in this area came from the prior acknowledgement of LGBT employees, through benefits and the creation of relevant platforms – and were then (in some cases) followed by marketing efforts towards the gay consumer in the 1990’s.