Before I start this blog, I must state that I am not transgender and therefore, there is a lot about this matter that I will fail to understand.  

Marketing to Transgender People in the 21st Century

I may say things that are incorrect, but from my research, this is what I have found important to think about when marketing to transgender people.

The Trump administration has been taking many measures to restrict the rights of transgender people, going back on legislature that had provided safety to them.  So, while the government is making transgender people feel uncomfortable to live in the US, it is the duty of influential companies to remind them that they are embraced and accepted.

You’re Marketing to Humans
First off, transgender people buy cars for the same reasons that anyone else would buy a car.  While the marketing campaign will probably be aiming to create a bold and inspiring message, it’s important to remember that a transgender person is not the companies mascot or token item.  Sell your product.

No Stereotypes
There is no ‘cookie cutter’ transgender person.  They are of all different ages, races, religions, sexualities, and passions. Many people picture certain stereotypes when it comes to transgender people, but if these are the only characteristics reflected in advertising, it would alienate many of them further. If heavy stereotypes are utilized, there may even be a feel of mockery to the advertisement, and that is certainly not a good strategy.  I cannot stress enough how important diversity is when marketing to or with transgender people.

Do Not Shrink Back
When marketing to transgender people, a company is taking a political stance on a very heated debate. You will get backlash. Please, do not shrink back. Don’t protect yourselves by avoiding areas that might bite back. Run your advertisements everywhere. When conservative groups come after the company, you must take it with grace.  Being a coward and rescinding the campaign hurts not only those you were promoting, but also your company, as your actions show that your support was only surface level and insincere.

For the Kids
One of the most valuable aspects of marketing to transgender people and including trans actors in advertisements is its exposure to the younger generation. People always say that no one is born with hatred and intolerance, rather, they are learned traits.  So in an age where Generation Z is so influenced by what they see in the media and on TV, using transgender people can be a source that positively represents them and creates more acceptance among the younger generation.

This is all great and maybe your marketing will stop here.  You’ll market with an inspiring message, and that’s surely needed and encouraged.  Then again, it’s hard to tell if your efforts to show support are genuine or solely for your own profit.  

Match your Marketing with Action
Despite backlash from many, Target put tons of money towards neutral gender bathrooms to ensure the safety of transgender employees and customers.  This happened in 2010, and while that may seem like an outdated example, there are many companies today that would not jeopardize losing anti-LGBTQ customers by taking these steps.  

As discussed earlier, transgender people probably do not feel safe and supported in today’s world with Trump and Pence in the White House.  So to truly market to a transgender person and grab their attention, an inspiring message might not be enough. However, taking action and giving them reasons to feel safe and supported will gain their support of your company.

New blog coming soon,
Annika Goldman
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