First-Ever Survey of LGBT-Owned Companies and LGBT-Friendly Corporations Outline Commerce Trends
A breakthrough survey of over 1,400 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business decision makers was recently conducted by Community Marketing, Inc. (CMI), an LGBT market research and communications firm based in San Francisco. The report highlights significant opportunities for LGBT-owned firms to grow their business, as well as for large corporations to more easily source LGBT-owned suppliers. The study also showed that the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and local LGBT chambers of commerce have successfully nurtured the growth of LGBT-related business-to-business commerce.
“Sourcing LGBT suppliers used to be like finding a needle in a haystack,” said Irwin Drucker, program director, LGBT Supplier Diversity, IBM. “There is no way a large corporation could include LGBT in their supplier diversity program without NGLCC.”
The vast majority (72%) of respondents overall don’t realize major corporations look to buy from LGBT-owned companies, indicating a sizable business development opportunity. By contrast, respondents who are NGLCC members are nearly three times more likely than nonmembers (70% vs 24%) to know that major companies buy from certified LGBT-owned firms, underscoring one of the most beneficial aspects of membership in NGLCC and local LGBT chambers of commerce.
“Through our involvement in the NGLCC, we’ve been able to connect with LGBT business decision makers, thus growing exponentially in the past several years: quadrupling from two to eight employees and at least doubling our revenue,” said Alan “Chip” Green, Jr., managing partner of gay-owned Green Ink Marketing Communications. “We are now a more robust global supplier.”
Business-related commerce among LGBT-owned companies and LGBT-friendly corporations had never been studied prior to this research. “LGBT marketing is almost entirely consumer-focused,” said Thomas Roth, president of Community Marketing, Inc. (CMI). “This study indicates a viable opportunity in the ‘LGBT B2B’ segment that is often ignored.” CMI conducted this first-of-its-kind online survey of over 1,400 U.S.-based respondents in partnership with NGLCC. The study was supported by Hyatt Hotels, Chubb Group of Insurance Companies and Wells Fargo Bank. The goal of the study was to quantify and qualify the purchasing habits, motivations and behaviors of LGBT-owned companies and LGBT-friendly corporations, and determine opportunities for increasing LGBT-related B2B commerce. Respondents were drawn from a “business owner/manager” segment of CMI’s proprietary research panel of 50,000 LGBT consumers, NGLCC national members, and affiliated LGBT chambers of commerce members.
The NGLCC is the business advocate and direct link between LGBT business owners, corporations and government. The NGLCC represents the interests of more than 1.4 million LGBT-owned businesses in the United States and is the umbrella organization for 61 state, local and international LGBT chambers of commerce and business organizations.