South Beach, FL—Marketers love to segment different population groups according to their buying power and interests. When it comes to targeting affluent consumers for luxury goods, there’s probably no single group that has more buying power per capita than the LGBT market.
Prestige jewelers attending the morning education sessions at Centurion South Beach recently heard this intriguing demographic information from speaker Phillip Bosen of Bosen Associates. Bosen presented a session on ‘The Importance of and Marketing to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community.’
LGBT Americans have four times the buying power per person than Hispanic Americans and African Americans and two times the buying power of Asian Americans, said Bosen. While LGBT Americans are the smallest segment of typical diverse markets based on actual population, they have significantly more buying power than their diverse counterparts, making them a market well worth noticing.
Along with statistics, Bosen shared the reason for his experiences in this marketplace: it all happened because he almost lost a sale to a woman who he assumed was marrying a man. She was not. He learned from this encounter and went on to connect well with this marketplace. Every jeweler could learn a little something from his experiences and might well make more sales because of it. Here are a few of his smart take-aways to better service, sell to and connect with this market:
1. Drop the pronouns. Don’t ask about him or her. Instead say, ‘tell me about your love.’ Or what does your special someone like? Take their lead on the answer. The words matter.
2. Update your marketing. Remove bride and groom language in general. Instead of selling ‘bridal’ jewelry, you need to be selling ‘wedding’ jewelry or another wording of your choice that does not default to ‘bride’ and ‘groom.’
3. Identify local LGBT charities. Then treat them like you would any other charity in your local marketplace: volunteer for their activities, find sponsorships that benefit them, and place your merchandise and ads in their silent auction activities.
4. Become a member of their Chamber of Commerce. Visit the Gay and Lesbian national Chamber of Commerce here to find the local one in your area. Odds are extremely good that you’ll be the only jeweler listed in their directories and their advertising is generally priced very well.
5. Photos. Use the right images in your marketing and in your store. Consider showing only rings with no people. Or a woman looking at her rings. Or a man looking at his. And obviously, a gay or lesbian couple shot is welcome as well.
Use a small upside triangle cling for your door.
Want more resources? Check out the Jewelers Equality Alliance, founded by Matthew Perosi, providing ad images suitable for this marketplace, as well as language use information as well as this previous article in The Centurion.
Don’t forget – the individuals in this marketplace generally become very loyal customers. And the families that support them, the parents, grandparents, siblings and friends will come see you because you treat their relative/friend well and respond to their needs. Step back, take a fresh look at what you can offer the LBGT community and your bottom line will be healthier for it.
Matthew Perosi of Jewelers Equity Alliance, left, and Philip Bosen, right, at Centurion South Beach.