People and businesses around the United States are adding rainbows to their product images and social media profiles. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) announced their decision Friday making it illegal for states to ban gay marriage. Search #LoveisLove #SCOTUS #LoveWins #MarriageEquality and #ProudtoLove into social media and you will see rainbows added to images of well known brands like Snickers, Jell-O, LinkedIn, American Airlines, Kellog’s, Target, Gap and many other companies.
Should your small business join the rainbow parade? Back in the 60’s and 70’s rainbows stood for peace and love. Today rainbows stand for gay pride. Facebook made it very easy to add a rainbow to your profile picture, but think it through carefully first. Your opinions about gay marriage and state versus federal authority will certainly play a factor, but it shouldn’t be the only factor.
3 points to consider before your company brand adopts or rejects the rainbow.
1. Is your business ready to take a stand?
Gay marriage is a polarizing topic. People will applaud your stance and you might gain customers. People will despise your stance and you might lose customers. Be authentic and ready to support your decision with well thought out reasons and a passion for the ideal. Don’t just add pretty colors to be trendy to be like the big guys.
2. What are the demographics of your core clients?
Small businesses in San Francisco and New York City do not have the same client demographics as small businesses in Houston. Have you ever seen a Confederate flag in San Francisco? Every locale has its own culture and a small business owner should be in tune with their local culture. National companies have a national demographic. Nationally most people support gay marriage. That doesn’t mean your target audience supports it.
3. Does the rainbow fit with your brand?
If your brand image is ambiguous, this is a great opportunity to reflect on it.
Hobby Lobby and Chic-Fil-A do not have any rainbows added to their image. That would be brand suicide. Those companies had a case in the Supreme Court last June about not offering birth control in their health plans because of their conservative religious beliefs. Can you imagine the uproar of their ardent fans if they started flying the rainbow flag now?
Taking the rainbow plunge
If you decide not to add rainbows to your brand image, do nothing. Unless you are NBC or Skittles, you probably don’t have a rainbow logo.
If you decide your small business has the the ideals, appropriate target audience, and brand to sport a rainbow, here are a few quick tips.
Go all out and hire a graphic artist to create a unique, multi-color company image. Use http://www.picmonkey.com or https://www.canva.com to alter an image. Download a stock image from a site like https://pixabay.com/en. Overlay a rainbow image over your Facebook profile picture at facebook.com/celebratepride. Twitter automatically adds a rainbow heart with tweets including the #LoveWins tag. LinkedIn changed its own logo but has not offered a quick way for users to change their profile picture.
Join the conversation. Let us know what you decide to do and what happens.
Want more info on branding, content marketing and copywriting aimed at small businesses? Please subscribe below.