Pride Month has become a time when retailers aim to express solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community by altering their logos with vibrant rainbow hues.

However, many consumers view such logo changes as shallow publicity stunts or a strategy to dodge potential backlash, reveals a leading data and analytics company GlobalData.

GlobalData’s UK April 2023 monthly survey reveals that 48.2% of consumers think a retailer changing its logo feels like a publicity stunt. A further 19.8% state that doing so feels like the retailer is doing the bare minimum to avoid bad press.

Despite 51.6% of consumers stating that retailers do not need to take any further action to show support for Pride, many consumers expect greater action, with 24.2% expecting a retailer to donate to related causes.

GlobalData retail analyst Sophie Mitchell commented: “Ahead of Pride month, retailers should ensure their actions are aligned with their target consumers. Young consumers especially are acutely aware of whether retailers are ethical and support social causes.”

According to GlobalData’s UK 2023 Q1 Consumer Survey, 21% of Gen Z consumers and 19% of Millennials stated that whether a retailer is ethical and supports social causes is essential in their purchase decision. This is compared to only 11% of Gen X.

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By GlobalData

Mitchell continued: “Retailers and brands whose actions have resonated well with consumers when it comes to supporting the LGBTQ+ community include Apple, IKEA, Happy Socks and Converse, which will have boosted sales for these retailers.”

Pride is a key example of changing consumer views across different nations. Recently in the US, Target has been embroiled in controversy by stocking Pride products in its stores, which it has now removed due to customer backlash that has reportedly made employees feel unsafe.

If retailers choose to celebrate Pride, Mitchell concludes that they will likely face scrutiny from consumers, who expect Pride celebrations and campaigns to align with their company values and actions.

“Retailers should be able to demonstrate their active support for the LGBTQ+ community if they are going to change their logos for Pride month. This is to avoid being accused of rainbow-washing by consumers and reap the rewards by attracting socially conscious shoppers.”