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SURVEY: How Does Being LGBT-Friendly Affect Nike’s And Starbucks’ Bottom Line?

This month Forbes.com dug into YouGov BrandIndex numbers to see how consumers are responding to brands that have publicly supported LGBT equality.

Some companies, like JCPenney’s and Macy’s, have made overt gestures with ads featuring same-sex couples. Others—like Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, Nike and General Mills—are releasing statements and/or cutting checks to support marriage equality efforts nationwide.

The chart below marks ratings over the past eighth months, divided by political affiliation.

Looking at the graph below, it seems like positive brand reaction is flagging for pro-gay corporations, but the question put to respondents was  “Have you heard anything positive or negative about this brand?” So numerous factors—other news items about Amazon, Starbucks, etc; fading memory about company’s pro-gay stance; overall fatigue after the Chick-fil-A controversy—could also be at play. “[The] index [was] calculated from scores for Amazon.com, American Apparel, Apple, General Mills Brands, Google, Home Depot, J.C. Penney, Levi’s, Macy’s, Microsoft, Nabisco, Nike and Starbucks,” writes BrandIndex’s Ted Marzilli. “While overall Buzz scores for the index of brands have decreased among both groups, the decline is more significant among consumers who identify themselves as Republican.”

That’s not exactly a shocker, but the continued support of various businesses in the face of these numbers is heartening. Time was one angry letter would get a company to drop anything that smelled remotely gay-positive.


Buzz score for brands which have publicly supported LGBT causes filtered for Democrat and Republican consumers

(January 2012 – September 2012)

On:           Sep 12, 2012
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    • Rockery

      I’m not surprised

      Sep 12, 2012 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      The fact that the conversation is…. Are they still getting the same benefits they were a few months ago rather than “How badly were they hurt by coming out in favor of LGBT rights”

      Shows that things are moving in the right direction.

      Sep 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • matt baume

      This isn’t a particularly useful chart if it doesn’t compare these trends to companies that DON’T take a stand on equality. Maybe public sentiment towards companies in general is in decline.

      Sep 13, 2012 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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