Truth be told, we are living in a day and age where human beings have more access to information than ever. And to that end, we are living in a day and age where human beings WANT more information than ever. Whether they are googling a potential new nanny’s entire life story or researching safe sunscreens or vegan makeup, our world is using their access to information to be just that – INFORMED.
When it comes to bringing your businesses and products into their lives and homes, consumers are choosing brands they trust, brands that are willing to be transparent about who they are, what’s important to them, and how they operate. But what happens when your business does not give consumers the opportunity to build that trust because they are too reserved when it comes to disclosing information those consumers care about? Well, in short, they miss out.
Like in any relationship, omissions can feel sleazy, even when there was no ill intent behind those omissions. Whether you are a baker deciding whether to warn your customers that their nut-free cookies were baked on the same pans as their nut-containing counterparts or you are deciding whether to let your customers know the “real” reason you are suddenly closing for two weeks is due to mold in the building – you may want to consider whether the omission would build trust or prevent the opportunity to build it at all.
The harsh reality is customers will choose who they believe is worthy of their support – both the monetary kind and the kind that comes in the form of advocacy and loyalty – and then they will identify those who they deem unworthy of their support.
The Numbers Don’t Lie When Portraying the Importance of Transparency for Your Business
Thanks to a study performed by Label Insight, we know that more than 80% of consumers believe that transparency is important to them when making purchase decisions. In another study by the same group, they found that 54% of consumers would be willing to pay more for products that include in-depth product details.
Perhaps even more interesting, the study found that the presence of children in the home increased consumers’ desire for transparency. This fact alone suggests that younger generations such as millennials and gen z, those who make up the largest group of consumers today and who are the most likely to have children in their homes, are increasingly wary of companies that do not offer valuable amounts of transparency and will view them as unsafe and unsatisfactory when making purchasing decisions for their families.
Consumers are more conscious than ever. Their morals and ethical standards will play a starring role in their brand loyalty and a huge part of that loyalty will be based on your brand’s ability to be transparent.
How Can Your Business Take Steps Toward Meaningful Transparency
Okay you’re listening, you’re understanding, but how do you go about the actual DOING when it comes to implementing transparency. It will depend on your industry and the types of products or services you offer in many ways. However, there are some transparency practices that you can implement regardless of the business you are in.
- Have an active presence on social media: Wait what? Yes, social media is a great tool for any business to provide their audience with a birds eye view of how your company operates, who is operating it, what it sells, how it sells and if your core values align with theirs. By posting behind the scenes processes and protocols, glimpses into your internal workflow, and keeping an open alleyway of two-way communication – you are allowing your audience to build trust through authentic sharing and observing.
- Make sure the information your audience cares about is readily available: Do you sell pastries at the local farmers market? Have the full ingredient list on every package, maybe even a note about the process in which it was made and any cross contaminants that could hypothetically cross paths with those delectable snickerdoodles. Do you own a boutique? Have a fact sheet on every manufacturer you stock on your website so the vegan mother on the hunt for a PETA friendly fur coat can quickly confirm she won’t be wearing a bunny if she buys from your store. Don’t shy away from knowledge, because your audience will ask for it.
- Create a culture of honesty and accountability – even when it’s hard: Messing up is never fun. Messing up and not taking responsibility is just asking for burned bridges. By being authentic and honest throughout your business journey, you’ll be better equipped to hold yourself accountable when something slips through the cracks. Owning your mistakes and then allowing your customers a front row seat to the rectification of those mistakes will be crucial in the pursuit of their understanding and forgiveness.
The Even Bigger Picture Painted with Transparency
While it is clear that transparency will ultimately increase your bottom line and help you create brand advocates, running your business with a focus on transparency is about more than just making sales. Building a business on honesty and transparency will allow you to build something you can be proud of. Your customers will not just buy from you, they will appreciate and trust you. They will vouch for you and sing your praises. And they will stand by you when you make mistakes and honor them with transparency and accountability.
Are you ready to commit to transparency within your business? Vinci Digital Marketing can help you create a business plan supporting that initiative. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.