My husband Norm and I did something that was very romantic but kind of dumb in hindsight; we got married on Valentine’s Day. To be honest, I never thought about the future difficulty of scheduling an anniversary dinner at a candlelit restaurant, a getaway weekend or even a couple’s spa treatment during premium time. I never realized the additional cost or pre-planning it entailed.
But if you happen to be a same sex couple married on the same day as us, early scheduling may be the least of your concerns.
You may wonder if the establishment you’ve selected will be wholly accepting and willing to provide a quality experience for you and your loved one.
Spas may unconsciously be overlooking one of the most robust markets that exists today; same sex couples. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, everyone may not necessarily buy into it. Therefore it’s important to go the extra mile and show potential customers that you are accepting and ready to offer a quality experience at your spa.
It kind of reminds me of the stories my parents shared with us years ago. They explained that despite the fact that Civil Rights laws for equality were passed, some business still resisted serving African-Americans. Therefore it became incumbent upon the establishment to proactively reach out and let us know we were welcome there.
Some companies like Lush Cosmetics “got it” a few years ago with their viral ad for the Women’s March.
It’s a smart marketing move and from a business perspective very savvy. In 2019 the total buying power of the U.S. lesbian, gay, transgender, bi-sexual and queer population was projected to be 917 billion dollars!
So what can you do to market to your LGBTQ customers besides slapping a rainbow flag on your reception desk? First, keep in mind that LGBT folks are a subset of other demographic groups that you are currently serving, so relax.
- Put yourself in their place as a same sex couple. Consider the behavior and personality of each spa staff member. Discuss the issue with your team and be aware of their responses. You (hopefully) wouldn’t accept discriminatory behavior if your customer was a person of color. Treat this with the same sensitivity. Address potentially uncomfortable situations.
- Advertise your services in main-stream media. Use accurate depictions of same-sex pairings in everyday situations, such as at home, driving, shopping or eating.
- Advertise in LGBTQ media and not just during Pride week.
- Show up to genuinely support the community
- Support your LGBTQ employees.
Have a prosperous Valentine’s Day.