Marketing to meaningfully address the banking needs of the LGBTQIA+ community
With an impressive $3.7 trillion in buying power, the LGBTQIA+ community is undoubtedly a financial force in the U.S. and a prime audience for banking services. As banks and credit unions look to become more purpose-driven and more inclusive in how they equitably serve their customers, Pride Month is a great time to consider both marketing campaigns that speak directly to queer communities as well as more meaningful changes.
As Forbes notes in a recent feature, a successful LGBTQIA+ marketing campaign must be built from a place of authenticity that “helps lay the groundwork for change.” More than adding a rainbow flag to a social media presence during Pride Month, building impactful campaigns that invite inclusive communities into your brand require a ground-up, inside-out approach that includes: ensuring representation of LGBTQIA+ voices in marketing decision-making; envisioning campaigns that include a wide range of people; and choosing the right language making deliberate, thoughtful choices in copy that don’t fall into gendered stereotypes.
But demonstrating a commitment to serving LGBTQIA+ communities must go beyond marketing. Financial services’ legacy thinking and outmoded technology can inadvertently make life harder for queer consumers in their banking relationships. A Forbes article on inclusion in banking puts it this way: “The modern world of finance and banking has only complicated queer lives, with outdated banking IT systems that consistently deadname those who identify as trans or nonbinary.”
Now the banking platform Daylight, All Out and the National Center for Transgender Equality are teaming up to call on financial institutions go beyond Pride Month marketing and dedicate their dollars to better address the challenges of transgender and non-binary banking customers. In #CallMeByMyName, the coalition says serving LGBTQIA+ community begins with calling people by their chosen names. Daylight cofounder Billie Simmons, says, “Being able to access debit and credit cards in your chosen name (versus a legal designation), which is not necessarily your legal name, is vital for ensuring the physical safety and security of trans and non-binary people.”
The campaign asks financial intuitions to: enable transgender and non-binary customers to update their name and gender identification for free and without requiring doctor, judge or notary authorization; to recognize customers by their true gender identity and name across every customer service touchpoint; and enact a publicly available plan and track progress by the end of the year. The coalition is also asking banking organizations like the American Bankers Association to use their commitment to diversity to influence industrywide change.