Consumers nowadays have become savvier, thanks to the easy accessibility of information via the Internet. They are not easily swayed by false advertising claims and fancy marketing spiels. Younger consumers have become especially more loyal to brands that appear to be transparent in how they do business.
But what is brand transparency, exactly? Why is it crucial for companies, and does it really have an effect on consumer behavior and loyalty?
Brands are developed as a means to identify and differentiate one business from the other. Effective branding creates inherent value that affects purchasing behavior and consumer preferences. These days, consumers are demanding more detailed information about a product before making a purchase. They want to know all the product specifications, the materials used to make it, where those materials came from, and the actual people who make and distribute the products. For these reasons and more, brand transparency should not be considered just another marketing buzzword; it should be a top priority for businesses.
Studies have shown that transparency resulted in increased loyalty and boosted brand worth. A 2016 Label Insight Study, revealed that out of 2000 respondents, 94 percent were likely to be loyal to a brand that commits to full transparency. About 56 percent would remain loyal for life if a company remained open to its disclosures. Of those surveyed, 73 percent were willing to pay more for a brand that is completely transparent.
Some consumers will even switch to a brand and consider its entire product portfolio, all because of its openness.
Brand transparency builds lifetime loyalty and strengthens trust from consumers. About 58 percent remain distrustful of a brand without ‘real world proof’ of its promised claims. Businesses are seen as ethical if they are truthful in informing people of what to expect from offered products and services. It is a guiding principle for companies and advertising channels alike in their marketing strategy to earn trust.
Full transparency requires a conscious effort in disclosing information to the public. It allows companies to prevent mistrust from happening when information is only made available after the incident. There are several ways to promote brand transparency and earn consumer trust.
1. Holding Your Brand Accountable
Any lapses in brand standards should be pointed out and serve as an example to do better. A business is responsible for delivering its brand's promise on products and services. If possible, everyone in the company should share accountability, as behaviors in the workplace also reflect the brand’s values.
2. Focusing on What Your Brand Represents
Avoid portraying the company inaccurately. Staying true to what your brand stands will help it to maintain a positive image. Amidst the changing business landscape, companies must remain open with their consumers without losing sight of the brand’s purpose. Core values and a clear mission statement should be communicated and upheld throughout the company.
3. Connecting With Consumers
Companies should take advantage of social media in communicating their messages to target markets. With digital-savvy consumers, businesses must turn to social networking platforms and acknowledge feedbacks or queries addressed through these channels. By adjusting how they communicate, companies can establish a recognizable brand voice and encourage engagement with consumers. This builds trust in the brand and establishes a loyal relationship with its customers.
Keep in mind that brand trust and loyalty do not happen overnight. There are several factors involved in creating a long-lasting relationship with your customer, but one that stands out is brand transparency.[Featured image via Pexels]