Consumer engagement has become a priority for major Canadian service providers, particularly in mature markets like telecommunications and financial services, where consumer loyalty is integral to stability and growth. With LGBTQ+ Pride month coming to a close, many major companies bolstered their claims to being moral and progressive brands by engaging in public displays of support for the LGBTQ+ community.

The phenomena of these social initiatives by major corporations is outlined by Mintel Trends ‘Moral Brands’ and ‘Buydeology,’ which highlight consumer desire to participate in both social and moral activism through their purchasing decisions, while preferring to purchase products and services from companies that align positively with their worldview. Therefore, a company’s stance on social issues and activist policies, such as LGBTQ+ Pride and participation in Pride events, are key drivers of consumer engagement in progressively-minded Canada. Such brand positioning is not uncommon when attempting to drive consumer engagement.

Brands show their pride

Canadian telecom and financial service providers zeroed in on social media as the primary channel to show support for the LGBTQ+ community. Traditionally, social media has been the most likely channel for companies to show solidarity during celebrations, such as pride month, or following tragedies like the terror attacks in France or Britain. This month, many companies revamped their display images with rainbow colors or similar presentations of support.

In Canadian financial services, TD and Scotiabank participated heavily in Pride social media marketing. TD ran the #ForeverProud and #PrideTO Twitter and Instagram campaign, informing its followers of its extensive history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community and highlighting its participation in multiple Pride events within Toronto during the Pride Weekend festivities in Toronto and other events throughout Canada.

Scotiabank also ran campaigns informing its social followers of participation in Pride events throughout Toronto’s Pride Weekend with the #ScotiabankProud and #TorontoPride campaigns. In these campaigns, Scotiabank informed its audience across multiple social media platforms that its Yonge and Wellesley branches were hosting LGBTQ+ DJ Lulu Wei and invited followers to visit its rainbow selfie booth, driving engagement at its physical branches.

Both TELUS and Fido emerged as social leaders in Canadian Telecom. TELUS ran pride events in multiple Pride Parades throughout Canadian cities and used social media to inform its followers of the events and included a livestream of the events within their feed, intended for those who could not attend. Telus also ran a #ShareLove contest in which it invited its followers to share their kissing selfies on Facebook in order for the chance to win a trip to Montreal’s Pride parade.

In addition to revamping its entire Twitter banner with a rainbow background, Fido ran multiple Pride weekend events in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and, similar to other companies participating in Pride events, leveraged social media to inform and engage its followers about these events with the campaigns #GoGetProud and #TreeHouse.

These are just some examples of how major Canadian service providers are blending activism, progressivism into their social media strategies, driving consumer engagement online and, in some cases, in physical locations. Engagement campaigns do not have to end with the conclusion of Pride Month, however, as TD Bank’s #52WeeksOfPride runs weekly all year long, featuring the stories and experiences of its LGBTQ+ employees. To conclude, as pride marketing has clearly indicated, major Canadian financial and telecommunications brands have placed a clear priority on reflecting and supporting the values held by their customers in order to strengthen relationships and consumer loyalty.

Michael Lloy is a Canadian Research Analyst for Mintel Comperemedia, working primarily to analyze marketing channel usage strategies in a wide range of sectors throughout North America.

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