Consumers who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender have deeper trust for products and brands that target gay consumers, and even greater trust for products offered by companies that have progressive policies toward gay and lesbian employees, according to a new Harris Interactive study sponsored by Witeck-Combs Communications.

Fifty-six percent of respondents agreed that they trust brands more from progressive companies—with 41% reporting they “strongly agree.”

In addition, seven out of ten gay consumers sampled (72 percent) agreed it was important for companies advertising products to gay and lesbian consumers to also “demonstrate effective corporate citizenship” by supporting lesbian and gay causes. A similar number (71 percent) also said it was important for companies advertising their products to “establish and publicize progressive policies towards gays and lesbians.”
“In a market so information-driven, it’s not surprising that gays and lesbians ask why companies reach out to them,” said Bob Witeck, CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications. “Reputation clearly matters, and companies that develop smart practices internally find they establish deeper connections and loyalty with customers. Lesbians and gays appear to learn quickly how their choice of brands stack up by judging the company that advertises those brands.”