The Importance of Brand Transparency with Consumers
Transparency has been a dominating theme of the past decade. From Edward Snowden to the Panama Papers, people today are genuinely curious of what goes on behind closed doors.
In relation to business, brand transparency has never been more important. Not only do consumers care about brands more than ever, but they can also find out everything they want on the Internet. This leaves businesses with one choice and one choice only: to embrace brand transparency.
Why Consumers are Demanding Brand Transparency
We can trace the demand for transparency back to a few significant events. Consumers were frightened to discover that they financially supported sweatshops in southeastern Asian countries and questioned what they were putting in their bodies when they found out about GMOs. An overall lack of trust of corporations has spilled over to small businesses as well.
A recent Entrepreneur article explains the nature of trust in customer relations. According to the article, consumers today want to develop a certain level of trust with a brand before giving them their business.
“When buyers make purchases, they want to know their decisions are good for their family and align with personal or charitable interests. Trust can’t be bought. It must be earned. Consumers want to understand exactly what they are buying, and rightly deserve the knowledge they seek.”
With tools like Google and social media, consumers have easier access to information than ever. And that’s exactly what they refer to when deciding if a brand is trustworthy or not.
Why you need brand transparency
At this point, you might be wondering how all of this applies to your business. In all likelihood you’re not mixed up in any PR disasters and haven’t committed any serious transgressions against society.
But here’s the problem: we believe you, and your partners believe you, but consumers won’t immediately give you their trust. As stated in the Entrepreneur article, trust is something earned, and just assuming you have it can be a major misstep in regard to your marketing efforts.
Brand transparency is the best way to build trust among consumers. By letting prospective customers know how you run your business, you’ll get rid of any hesitation they may have had with respect to your company.
How you can be transparent
Just like consumers have easier access to information than ever, businesses today have all the opportunities in the world to show transparency. We find that a holistic approach works best in regard to online marketing.
For example, social media is an obvious choice to build trust with followers. You can talk with customers in a way that you wouldn’t on your website. It’s like having an alter ego that shows your more personal side.
Still, this strategy won’t work if it’s not consistent with your other marketing efforts. You should also be transparent in your emails, content, and conversations.
What you can be transparent about
Some people mistake brand transparency for revealing all your secrets. But consumers aren’t interested in how you plan on outperforming your competitors five years from now, they just want to know who they’re doing business with.
Pricing, for example, is one of the low-hanging fruits in regard to transparency. It sometimes helps to show consumers what’s built into your price and that it’s not some arbitrary number you chose to squeeze them dry.
You can also open up about your product development, your company history, and your employee relations. Even if you don’t think customers would find those things interesting, it’s equivalent to opening the door and inviting them in your house.
Brand transparency is highly correlated with customer loyalty in the long-run. To talk more about brand transparency, or anything else, contact us today.