Men and women were not the only ones celebrating the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage last Friday; businesses took a stab at it, too. Companies from American Airlines to Visa issued statements declaring their support through rainbow-themed avatars and slogans like “Love. Accepted everywhere.”
But amid the jubilation, it’s easy to forget that these moves are marketing ploys disguised in supportive statements. And the first rule of marketing is to be careful with who you might offend. Richard Stubbe, who writes for Bloomberg Business, says the ruling simplifies life for any business working over a lot of state lines or national borders.
“A bunch of companies went to the Supreme Court and said they wanted this ruling to go this way,” he says. “A lot of it comes down to simple things like: How do we do benefits for 25,000 people who operate in multiple states when in some states things are legal and in some other states they’re not? It makes life a lot easier on that front.”
Although some people may still be opposed to same-sex marriage, companies around the country have realized that it’s good business to support such a historic – though contentious – decision. This, however, comes at an expense: They run the risk of alienating a core demographic: older clients, who usually have more money in their wallets.
“There’s a decision that these companies have made, that this is the best way to market their businesses,” Stubbe says. “This is a ruling that I think benefits their businesses and it gives them an opportunity to market their businesses to an important demographic.”