American Airlines' Rainbow TeAAm and its Strategy to Target the LGBT Segment

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG218 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 400;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 400 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Consumer Behavior / Market Segmentation / Target Marketing / Purchase Behavior
Case Length : 24 Pages
Period : 1994-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : American Airlines
Industry : Travel / Aviation
Countries : USA


American Airlines (AA), one of the world's leading airline carriers, attracted the attention of industry observers for its target marketing strategy for diverse segments. In particular, it was widely recognized for its initiatives at targeting the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) segment. It was one of the first major companies to make a concerted effort to tap this segment. It started a dedicated Marketing and Sales team focused on the LGBT segment as far back as 1994. The team was later renamed 'Rainbow TeAAm'. The Rainbow TeAAm had over the years done some pioneering work in this area and firmly established AA as the preferred airline for the LGBT consumer.

In addition to developing travel packages that would appeal to the segment and other outreach initiatives, the Rainbow TeAAm also helped develop web pages focused on the LGBT segment.

The case discusses the initiatives taken by AA and its Rainbow TeAAm to tap the fast growing LGBT travel market. It also discusses the various issues and challenges in targeting the market. The case ends with the challenges faced by the company in maintaining and enhancing its brand position as the most popular airline of LGBT-choice at a time when more and more companies are trying to target this lucrative segment.


Understand the issues and challenges in market segmentation and targeting.

Understand the dynamics of the LGBT market with special emphasis on the LGBT travel market.

Analyze the strategies adopted by AA in tapping the LGBT segment.

Understand the critical success factors in effectively targeting the LGBT segment.

Explore strategies that AA could adopt in the future to tap the segment.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 2
How it all Started 3
Aavacations.Com/Rainbow Microsite 5
Aa.Com/Rainbow Web Page 6
Advertising 7
Other Online Initiatives 8
Sponsorships and Other Outreach Initiatives 10
Results 12
Looking Ahead 14
Exhibits 15


Market segmentation, Targeting, Consumer behavior, Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, LGBT, LGBT-focused sales and marketing team, Diverse Segment Marketing, LGBT Travel Market, Gay and Lesbian Tourism, Advertising, Online marketing, Sponsorships, LGBT sales team, Niche segment, Purchasing power, Brand loyal, Disposable income, Early adopters, Purchase decision, Diversity, Diversity training, Gender identity, Sexual orientation, Supplier diversity, Corporate equality index

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