Nowadays, consumers have different mediums where they can control the conversation. They decide who they want to entertain and engage with and which ones to ignore. They know what they want to see, hear, and feel, which is why it’s essential for businesses to practice transparency.
Being a transparent brand implies being open, genuine, and accessible to internal and external stakeholders. Practicing transparency for brands means disclosing information about everything and anything about a business that can impact their customers, competitors, and the industry they belong to.
It’s more than just a term or a buzzword today. Transparency is a must because if not, businesses won’t unlock their potential and be successful.
Consider The Consumer believes in brand transparency because consumers need to know vital information regarding how businesses operate wholly. So we want to share why it matters to more consumers and brands through this source material.
Reasons for brands to be transparent
Regardless of a business’s size, type, or industry they belong to, they should be visible, clear, and honest. That’s because today’s consumers value transparency more now than in any previous year or time. Most of them know how valuable their thoughts and feelings are towards brands, and businesses should know it as well.
To expound on that matter more, here are reasons for brands to be transparent:
Just like with any relationship, building trust is also important for brands and consumers. Gaining the trust of consumers and vice versa is the key to reaching success and have longevity for businesses.
Brands that win consumers’ trust through transparency in this hyper-connected and complex world where fake news and privacy concerns are around will be better off. Being genuine is refreshing in the world we live in today, and brands will be recognized for that, and they’ll be more appealing if they are.
Research by Edelman published in 2019 found that only 34% of consumers trust most of the brands they use. That data further show how difficult it can be for brands to gain consumer trust.
On a similar note, a survey by Sprout Social found that nine in ten people are willing to give brands a second chance after bad experiences if they’ve established a history of transparency. That’s why being transparent is a great help for gaining consumer trust, plus it also increases customer retention.
Honesty allows consumers to be comfortable with supporting a business. When they know that a business is genuine, they find it easier to support everything they do, fostering a great relationship that can last for a long time.
Any business can’t be successful without putting its brand out in public. Consumers rely on information about them to make informed purchase decisions.
The amount of information a consumer knows about a business is a significant factor in spending decisions. If they can’t find anything or a specific detail they’re looking for, they’ll look for another brand that can provide it. Therefore, everything a brand discloses, even the things they keep from the public, is important for consumers to determine the value of products and services.
There’s also an astronomical amount of information a consumer can find using the internet nowadays. So if they search for a brand and don’t see anything about them, they’re likely to get suspicious.
That’s why developing and implementing effective and ethical methods to be visible to consumers is essential. The less information about a brand is seen, the more consumers will avoid them because, in an era where almost everything is made known, it can be difficult to understand why a brand doesn’t have much to disclose about itself.
Being transparent not only helps in customer retention but in attracting new ones as well. Honest and genuine brands are more appealing to most consumers, leading towards a positive public image.
Backed up by delivering quality products and services, numerous brands rose to popularity by providing all the essential information consumers want to know. That’s why many others spend on marketing and advertising because providing the information is crucial to shaping consumers’ perception of their brand.
Presentation is also a key factor; however, content still matters more. The things that a brand wants to convey to consumers are what ultimately influence how they’re seen. And consumers want to know as much as possible about them because knowing is half the battle when it comes to making informed purchasing decisions.
Brand transparency encourages consumers to choose a brand and likely spread the word about them as well. The more trust a brand builds through visibility and quality, the more people will share about them.
Other consumers influence their fellow consumers through word of mouth, which has been amplified by social media nowadays. With one click of the share button, a brand can reach even the people outside their target market. That’s why making an effort to be as transparent as possible can attract new customers and thus boost chances of progress.
People often define integrity as doing the right thing even when no one else can see it. This means integrity is acting out of honesty, which will make a brand more trustworthy.
The only way brands can show integrity is to be transparent. Transparency establishes their values and policies and demonstrates they’re not keeping anything from consumers.
A transparent brand has integrity, which paints a positive image for them. Since they don’t have anything to hide, consumers know what to know, which is ideal because fewer points to criticize.
Moreover, integrity isn’t just about publicizing information but being consistent in whatever a brand does base on the belief compass they’ve established. It’s also about showing that they’re committed to delivering their values and promises to prove authenticity that’ll truly demonstrate integrity consumers want to see.
Taking accountability and control
Transparency also helps brands in crisis management and terrible feedback. During tough times when nothing is going right, they can always fall back to being transparent to address issues.
Transparent brands are clear with their values, processes, and goals, making it difficult for outside factors to influence them. As a result, no one can dictate who they are and what they should be, which is always the opposite whenever a crisis occurs.
Since transparency helped them build trust with their customers, they won’t fold easily in times of crisis. They can always go back to it to make their position and messaging clear about the current issue.
Consumers trust transparent brands in the processes they take to correct their mistakes. They know that they hold themselves accountable, which is why their customers won’t look for other brands that easily.
Characteristics of a transparent brand
Working on brand transparency is a culmination of employing various practical activities. For consumers, there are things you can look for to determine a brand’s transparency:
Real service scope
Establishing a limit on the services they offer is a radical way to be transparent for any brand. They have a clear scope of what they offer to do for customers or clients, avoiding creating false expectations. It also establishes a well-measured work capacity for their employees and outlines the amount of time they dedicate to each customer or client.
Promotes honest feedback
Besides promotion and publicity, being a transparent brand also entails encouraging feedback from consumers. This not only includes customers but employees as well. A transparent brand welcomes honest feedback from both internal and external stakeholders.
That means they provide them platforms to express their unfiltered feelings and thoughts about their products or services. They don’t avoid even the negative ones because they acknowledge that they’re essential for growth.
Maintains open and straightforward pricing
Pricing is one of the most important things consumers use to find value in products and services. A transparent brand maintains a straightforward pricing structure and discloses it to consumers.
Disclosing detailed pricing information to the public leads to more transparency. That’s because it opens up a conversation about how a business comes up with prices for its product or service. You can discuss and ask questions about sourcing, the supply process, and the extra features that may be included in the price.
Provides production insights
Not all businesses can work with explaining their price structure for their products or services, i.e., vehicle manufacturers. The alternative for such businesses is to show consumers how their products are made. A transparent brand informs consumers about how they produce their products by providing insight into their production methods.
They provide consumers with a complete view of their product-making that may include material sourcing, development process, and ethics in their practices. Doing so helps consumers see if they’re buying or paying a credible business.
Social media to spread information
Using social media is an effective method to practice brand transparency. Nearly everyone is on social media, and even mainstream news uses them as sources.
A transparent brand uses social media to update its customers and prospects because they know its influence today. It’s an easier way to keep consumers informed about any relevant information they should know.
Editor’s Note on Brand Transparency:
Transparency is a must because consumers will have difficulty building relationships with businesses. Transparent businesses have integrity and are honest with consumers. You can find out how honest businesses are by reading the news, and you can access them here on Consider The Consumer.
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