Have you heard of ‘rainbow-washing’? If you’re in the marketing space, you probably have, but if not, then you need to know what it means.

The term refers to companies that use rainbow colours on logos, products, websites, and more to signal their support for the LGBTQ+ community, most commonly through Pride month.

However, it is not an entirely positive connotation as, like greenwashing, it suggests that a brand or organisation spends more time and money marketing themselves as LGBTQ+ supporters, rather than actually making a positive difference to the community and their employees who belong to it.

Although we see corporate diversity and LGBTQ+ rights celebrated during Pride month in June, many consumers believe that numerous positive diversity efforts shared by corporations are either exaggerated or, in some cases, wholly fraudulent.

When asked what they think about brands getting involved with Pride, 33% of US and 31% of UK consumers said that brands should redirect their Pride efforts to better support LGBTQ+ causes.

How to get it right, and wrong

So how can brands get it right and authentically connect with audiences during Pride, or in general?

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