The first thing you need to remember is that brand success goes hand in hand with brand transparency, period!
The company’s decision to develop a clear and transparent brand is there to establish trust in the market, but the reason it is so important is because that’s what your shareholders and customers want from you.
Being open and transparent allows for an organic development of a brand and should be part of every marketing strategy.
What Is Brand Transparency?
Let’s define brand transparency in a few simple words.
Brand transparency is a key factor in building a trustworthy image for your company and it’s one of the most important elements when it comes to successful brand management.
There is a big difference between telling and showing. Brand transparency allows a company to show its consumers that they are an ethical, honest and responsible company.
The customer expects companies to be honest with their products, let you know what they contain, if they are safe for human consumption, if any ingredients have negative impacts, etc.
That’s a reasonable expectation and by delivering that kind of transparency the consumer will feel more comfortable buying your products or services.
The same goes for your employees, people want to know what kind of working environment you created for them, how much money they are making, what’s the process for promotion, what are their benefits as employees, etc.
Transparency is a two-way street and by communicating it you gain a reputation of an honest and trustworthy company that customers will be happy to work with.
Of that 94%, 54% even said that they were willing to pay more.
And we already mentioned that transparency is a two-way street, so once your customers are loyal to you they’ll be more than happy to share their positive experience with others which will lead to even more sales.
Why Does Brand Transparency Matter From a Business Perspective?
When it comes to building trust between a company and its clients, it’s vital to have an effective way of communicating that trust.
Transparency proves that your efforts are in the best interest of your customers and your partners.
The thing about customers is that they don’t know everything. They think they do, but the reality is that they know just a little bit of what’s going on in the business.
As a company, when you deliver transparency it gives your customers the chance to feel like they are in on something, even if it’s not entirely the case.
In other words, transparency makes them feel like insiders.
They might not have all the facts but by feeling like insiders their trust in you will grow because now they view themselves as more than just consumers.
From a business standpoint, the benefits of being more transparent are clear.
If a company is willing to be publicly open and honest with its customers, it can gain more loyal customers.
These loyal customers will buy more from you and even refer others to your product, service or industry.
This will lead to an increase in exposure and visibility of your brand which leads to even more sales with higher margins over time.
As a result, you’ll see increases in profit and reduce the amount of money you spend on marketing for the same results.
Being more transparent will also prove to potential investors, customers and partners that you are a reliable company with a good reputation.
7 Major Benefits of Brand Transparency
1. Builds Trust
If your customers don’t know what they’re buying, they feel unsure and uneasy.
When you show that you are willing to be open and honest with them, your customers will build trust in your business. They feel confident that you are delivering a product or service of the highest quality.
2. Increases Customer Loyalty
Customers buy from companies for many different reasons – quality, price, reputation etc.
The one reason we often forget is loyalty which can be highly valuable because it’s an ongoing commitment from the customer.
Your customers are willing to pay more and stay loyal to you if they know that you have their back at all times (and even when you don’t).
3. Boosts Sales
The more transparent a company is, the more trust it will build, and with that comes loyalty.
Loyalty leads to increased sales, which is what every business aims for.
The advantage of having an open and honest brand is that there’s no limit to the number of sales you can have as long as your product or service fills a need in the market and you know how to deliver it.
4. Builds Reputation
A good reputation will help your company grow in the long run because it allows future customers to trust you even before meeting you for the first time.
When you can show them that you are trustworthy, there’s no limit to the number of sales you’ll have.
5. Reduces Marketing Costs
When a company has an open and honest brand, they know it’s guaranteed to have loyal customers in the future and when those loyal customers become repeat customers their trust will grow even more.
This will reduce your marketing costs a great deal because you won’t need to spend as much on advertising.
With time and experience, you can discover what’s working for your product or service and apply these techniques upon your next launch.
6. Higher Profits
Having transparent brand communication also allows a company to grow its profits by producing more sales with greater margins.
When you see growth in sales and higher margins, it’s a clear sign that your brand is on the right track.
7. Attracts Investors
If your company shows all the benefits mentioned above, it also means that you are likely to attract more investors.
When your company is growing and you show high profits, investors will be more than happy to invest with you because they know that they can count on a return on their investment sooner than later.
Brand Transparency – How To Achieve It?
The easiest way for a company to be transparent is for them to publish clear labeling on their products, either online or physically in stores where the product is sold.
Besides this, it’s important for them to communicate and answer all questions from their clients.
We are unlikely to see any major changes in the fashion industry, except that companies will be able to earn more money from their customers, thanks to brands that provide transparency.
For anyone who has a clothing brand, it’s vital that they know how customers feel when they see the label on the product they bought.
This can only be determined if you have a clear customer service policy and take all concerns seriously.
Every business owner needs to know what their brand is all about, how it helps people and why they should trust the name.
From a marketing perspective, the kind of branding you choose will determine everything about the way your company is perceived.
If you are an online business, it’s important that people know that you sell products of high quality and at a reasonable price.
You must provide enough information on your website or packaging when consumers receive the product to make them feel comfortable with your brand.
If you are also able to provide human answers to any queries they have, it will not only make them trust your brand but also close them as customers.
Don’t Be Afraid To Show What You Sell
Once a consumer purchases something she must be sure of what she is buying.
This is vital because if you are able to show samples of the branded product in your store, people will feel more confident when they buy something from you.
Also don’t be afraid to talk about your brand at the same time during the sales process, especially if you are a small business that doesn’t have much experience with marketing and branding yourself.
Showing samples will also help customers gauge the quality of your product and make them satisfied with their purchase.
Don’t Be Afraid To Use Social Media
Any business that is serious about growth should start using social media to promote its brand.
The main idea behind using social media is to advertise what you sell and earn people’s trust.
A lot of customers will make use of social media platforms when they are looking for products or services, therefore you need to make sure that your brand is visible on these platforms so people don’t miss it out.
It may be difficult for small businesses to invest in marketing campaigns but with time and persistence, you will be able to generate some good results if you take the right steps at the right time.
When you provide your customers with a good service, they will be more than happy to make use of it.
It’s vital that you have a great customer service system so when a client has a problem he can get in touch with your company and get an explanation.
This helps the customer know why the brand is trustworthy and if he wants to keep using it or even recommend the same brand to other people.
The first step is always to provide accurate information on what you sell so customers are aware of their purchase before making it.
If they feel comfortable with your service they will be more than happy to continue using the product or ask for advice from others who have used it before as well.
Brand Transparency Examples
I’ve worked with many companies in my 8-year digital career and I’ve never worked with a company as transparent as Mediavine.
Mediavine is a premium ad network management company that specializes in programmatic advertising and influencer partnerships.
They are not paying me to say this and I will say it loud: “They are the most honest team I had the opportunity to work with.”
They bring a spirit of transparency to their relationship with their customers and it’s just that.
One of their company slogans is “Total Transparency is Our Standard” and I can testify that this is not just a statement in bold on their website.
They walk the talk and this is something, as a publisher working with them, you can feel.
5 Ways Brands Create Transparency
I am going to share with you 5 ways brands can create transparency for their customers.
You can choose which one of them you want to use for your brand.
1. Social Media Presence
Social media platforms are becoming increasingly important in today’s society as people communicate through them on a daily basis.
People use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms to share their thoughts and have some fun with their family, friends, and other people.
As such, brands must focus on implementing a good social strategy to build up loyal customers and make the brand visible in the eyes of potential customers.
2. Communication And Engagement With The Customers
As a brand owner or marketer, it’s important to engage with your target audience on all levels.
This means that when you want to provide transparency for your customers you need to take into account what they like to see.
This can be done by using different tools such as blogs or newsletters in order to deliver value and promote key messages to your target audience.
In addition, you can also engage with your customers on different social media platforms to keep them up-to-date with the latest events and products.
For example, if someone is looking for a new smartphone the brand should respond to his query and confirm or deny his decision.
Moreover, you should also provide him with an explanation of what he could expect if he purchases a smartphone from the brand.
3. Communication And Engagement With Your Team Members
The third tip I want to pass on to you is that every brand must have communication channels in place that allow employees to communicate with each other and clients as well.
I’m not talking about keeping your employees locked in their office and having a rigid management system that doesn’t allow their employees to talk freely with their clients.
What I’m talking about here is setting up communication channels like Slack, a video conferencing program, or even using the company’s newsletter platform to allow team members (both senior and junior) to interact with one another.
As communication is the key element behind any successful brand, you need to make sure that your team understands what it takes for them to create value for your clients.
4. Creating Transparency Through Your Product Or Service
The fourth tip I want to pass on is the one related to creating transparency in the very broadest sense of the word.
This means that when you are developing a product or service, make sure that you provide an accurate description of what to expect from the product or service.
For example, when you launch a new smartphone brand you can share the specs of the phone on your website or even on social media channels.
It’s also important to create transparency around the in-and-out of your process.
For instance, you can explain how your customers can request a refund if they don’t like the product.
In addition, it’s also great if you communicate with other people as well when making a product and let them know if anything is changing in this regard.
When launched, you should also promote your transparency as well by featuring it on social media channels.
You can even use the hashtag #ThisIsWhatWeDo when announcing important promotions or when your new product has been launched.
5. Creating Transparency Through Your Company Culture
Finally, I want to say that a transparency culture must be built in your company as well.
This means that your employees need to understand what it takes for them to create value for their clients and there is no better way than to create a culture of honesty and consistency in the workplace.
You need to make sure that people feel encouraged about sharing ideas with one another and about working well together so they are able to deliver excellent results on a regular basis.
How To Avoid Brand Transparency Failure?
As you can see, there are many ways that you can create transparency in your brand.
However, it’s also important to realize that there is a risk associated with transparency and one of the most important steps is to avoid transparency failure.
Be Honest In Your Communication With People
As I said in the beginning of this article, honesty is the key element when it comes to transparency.
This means that when you want to create transparency for your brand, make sure that you are honest on all levels.
This includes the way you communicate with your employees and business partners as well as your customers and prospects.
If you are dishonest on any level I’m afraid that people will see through it and this is never good for any business.
Avoid Cents And Ads While Promoting Products
Try to avoid using cents or ads when promoting products or services that your company offers as this can be considered as a form of dishonesty by some people in the marketing world.
For example, you can’t offer a 30% off coupon for your company’s new smartphone if you don’t really have that smartphone in stock.
What you can do instead is change the wording of the promotion and announce something like “only five phones available for 30% off” or something similar.
In addition, it’s also important to use an aggressive tactic when promoting products and services as you have to make sure that customers’ attention is drawn to the promotion rather than to your competitors who might be offering similar products at a lower price.
Don’t Forget To Explain The Why? Of What You Do
When it comes to communicating with people, there are many ways in which we communicate with them throughout our life.
However, there are many people who simply do not understand how brands work and how a business model works.
This is why it’s important to explain the why? of everything you do and this can be done in a variety of ways.
For example, you can use an infographic or a video that explains the value and benefits of your service or product.
Another great way to explain your company is to create an FAQ page on your website so that anyone who might have any questions can read through this content before calling or emailing you and ask for information.
Building brand transparency should be at the top of your brand audit checklist.
If you really want to create a unique brand that stands out from the competition, I strongly encourage you to incorporate transparency in all of your marketing activities.
Remember that your brand’s success depends on your ability to communicate and engage with your customers in a transparent way because this is what will help you build a genuine relationship with your customers.