How powerful is the pink dollar really?
As the LGBTQ community grows, its buying power becomes stronger and stronger. Which makes us wonder: how real is the pink dollar and does it really give us some power over the market?
Or is it just a marketing term that normalizes the separation of our community from the mainstream?
Pink dollar: Just the facts
While we may get the idea that the pink dollar are gay couples on exotic vacation as shown on their Instagram or Facebook, it might better if we look at the numbers.
The purchasing power of the LGBTQ community in the US has been estimated at US$917 billion in 2015, making the pink dollar the strongest among minority groups in the US (which is 4 to 7% of the US population).
Meanwhile, the global purchasing power of the LGBTQ community is estimated at US$3.7 trillion!
On the average, same-sex couples reportedly earn at least US$7.200 more than straight couple. With only 20 percent of same-sex couples having children, you can see why gay couples are seen as dual-income-no-kids standard.
Because of this, same-sex couples make and have more money, with fewer responsibilities on hand.
But these statistics don’t tell the whole story: gay couples may have a lot of buying power but most of it is on credit, they have little equity in their home, and they don’t have much in retirement savings.
The pink dollar & advertising
There’s also the idea that with the buying power of pink money giving the LGBTQ community a kind of “financial self-identification,” businesses that target the LGBTQ may actually be segregating them from society.
Just look at how mainstream tries to advertise to the community.
Michael Wilke, a New York ad analyst and creator of The Commercial Closet website, noted that while there’s a huge increase in ads featuring the LGBTQ, these don’t target them as a market but to exploit them.
There is also the problem that when your ads target the queer market, you forget that the LGBTQ community isn’t a monolithic market with a single identity. As such, the ads come off as using stereotypical identities.
But it’s also been reported that the LGBTQ community have a higher brand loyalty and are active in using their purchasing power with companies that have a positive presence with their community.
Because of this, the community should be aware of those brands that try to use us as a way of “pink washing.”
The power of the pink dollar
The idea of pink dollar is a complicated thing, and probably is a double-edged sword for the LGBTQ community. However, that doesn’t belie the fact that it can be used by the community to advance equality.
Recently, the LGBTQ community has managed to use their economic power to support the candidates who will help them fight for their rights via political donations.
On one hand, candidates mostly from the Democrat Party– from Bill and Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama– actively campaigned for the support of the gay vote in this matter.
On the other hand, former North Carolina governor Pat McCrory lost his re-election bid because of a bathroom bill that had companies supportive of the LGBTQ community boycotting doing business in that state.
And by financially supporting LGBTQ advocacy and charity groups, the community can raise the power to defend itself.