June is Pride month in the U.S. and many other countries around the world. As has become the norm, companies of all kinds are celebrating the event with collaborations and other marketing initiatives.
Pride-themed collections this year tend to have a number of elements in common. Fashion and beauty marketers are by far the most likely to view Pride as an opportunity for limited-edition products. Initiatives typically have a charitable component in partnership with a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ rights, anti-bullying efforts, and the like. Almost all the collections take the rainbow flag as their core design inspiration. And, while celebrities are involved with some of the efforts, their participation is less frequent than when mainstream marketers first began to create Pride-themed collaborations in a big way a few years back.
Here is a sampling of some of this year’s collaborative initiatives:
- Sportswear designer Todd Snyder teamed with Champion to produce a series of #TSPride t-shirts, hoodies, and sweats, with 20% of sales from the products—priced between $70 and $168—going to the National Park Foundation to help fund the Stonewall National Monument.
- ASOS paired with GLAAD for a 50-piece collection of apparel and accessories, from jackets to sweats to bags, each available in extended sizing. All of the proceeds from sales of the items, which are priced starting at $10, go to GLAAD.
- Retailer Express joined OUT Magazine for the Love Unites collection of gender-neutral/gender-fluid apparel and accessories. Express is donating 25% of net income from the effort to GLAAD.
- Design label Helmut Lang collaborated with Artforum magazine for a range of t-shirts and hoodies. Some of the proceeds from sales of the products will go to New York City’s LGBT Community Center. Lang was one of the first fashion designers to advertise in the publication.
- Teva partnered with musicians Tegan and Sara for a limited-edition sandal, with a portion of proceeds going to summer camps sponsored by the Tegan and Sara Foundation. The group supports the political, economic, and health equality of females in the LGBTQ+ community.
- Harry’s, the men’s grooming company, worked with José Antonio Roda, a Spanish illustrator, on a Pride gift box containing a razor, blades, and shave gel. Profits will go to The Trevor Project, which serves LGBTQ+ youth that are in crisis. Each razor in the limited-edition set has a unique handle.
This list represents just a smattering of the Pride-themed limited editions, collaborative or otherwise, introduced this month.
Although fashion and beauty are at the epicenter of Pride-related product initiatives, other categories are sometimes involved. Society6 allied with CBS Consumer Products for a capsule of notebooks, home accessories, art prints, and apparel, all featuring images by LGBTQ+ artists, tied to Showtime’s Generation Q, the series that serves as a sequel to The L Word. And Little Bee Books released the fourth and fifth board books this month under its licensing agreement with GLAAD, with one of the titles, Our Rainbow, focusing on the history and meaning of the Pride flag.
One caveat: Fifty percent of Americans say they see Pride-themed products or content more as a marketing tactic than a reflection of brand values, according to a recent survey from YouGov. Less than a fourth (24%) say they are more likely to become a customer if a company is LGBTQ+-friendly, versus 18% who are less likely and 44% who say it does not matter to them one way or the other.
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