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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Gay Marriage Means Business In California

If you haven't been surfing the net lately, you would be sure to miss the Gay Marriage papparrazzi of companies vying for the Gay Marriage dollar in California. Check out when you get a minute. It's like I've always known, once people start to realize how Gays and Lesbians contribute to our society, hate will slowly melt away. One of the most powerful influences is "money."

From hotels to fire insurance, it seems as if we just can't keep up with all of the press releases coming down the pipeline as the Golden state gears up for a potential economic boom. The Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law predicts a $683.8 million boost in direct spending by same-sex couples over the next three years. (Hear that Arnold?)

Creating an emotional bond with customers is a strategic imperative for any brand, if you dare. I'm starting to notice that companies are finally starting to feel that bonk on the head that they were given years ago when we first started quantifying our purchasing power. Yes, tell us that you support our cause in addition to how great your products and services are. It will go a long way.

Outvite, although a gay-focused company is a great example of creating that emotional bond. In their recent press release, the title alone punches their salute to the California Supreme Court Decision and then they go on to promote their products and services.

The Rainbow Wedding Network must be brimming with the news as they plan their same-sex wedding tours traveling through major cities in California.

My favorite is the fire insurance. Kudos to Fireman's Fund Insurance for jumping on the band wagon. With all of the disasters California endures each year and the amount of money you have to slap down for your nuptials, I wouldn't be surprised if they started to set up kiosks on every corner.

So wait, let's do the math. The Williams Institute estimates that half of the estimated 100,000 same-sex couples in California will marry in the next 3 years. With an average wedding costing $27,000, hey! that's $13,500,000! Nice change!

The travel industry has been marketing to our community for years, but California's nod to gay marriage is lighting an even bigger fire under the butts of progressive marketing directors. Kimpton Hotels takes the lead by announcing their "Summer of Pride" campaign. The promotion extends a discount on hotel bookings in many gay-friendly cities throughout the country. Hello honeymoons!

All this hoopla makes me wonder why I'm not turning Echelon Magazine into Echelon Wedding and Business Magazine. But we are thinking.........

Michael Lamb
Editor in Chief