Luca M. Visconti

The Long March from Stonewall to an LGBTQ+ Market

The Italian LGBTQ+ market, that can be estimated at around 93 billion euros per year already in 2016, is characterized by poor research and a small number of active companies. By examining the intersection between the high/low specificity of needs of LGBTQ+ consumers (situations in which orientation/gender identity act respectively as a strong/weak driver of purchasing) and their adaptive/proactive role played in the market, we obtain four types of needs/products and also four types of marketing:

  1. needs not determined by sexual orientation lead to generic products, that go well with undifferentiated marketing, which allows for attracting preference from the LGBTQ+ target through allusive strategies;
  2. needs determined by sexual orientation, that are thus specific to this target, lead to ad hoc products and differentiated marketing;
  3. expressive needs of LGBTQ+ consumers, aimed at communicating individual and collective sexual identity, translate into symbolic products and ideological marketing, where the companies involved support the rights of the LGBTQ+ population through the market, strengthening conditions of economic citizenship;
  4. needs originally associated with the LGBTQ+ segment that extend to the hetero/cisgender market lead to the emersion of crossover products, supported by intercultural marketing.


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