Build Transparency. Build Brand. Build Relationships.

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Now more than ever, consumers have access to plenty of information about companies. It’s outdated and unrealistic to believe a business can simply sweep something negative under the rug or hope it blows over. However, this is a positive. Use this new consumer environment to show that your brand is honest and trustworthy. This will ultimately help your business gain lifelong customers. The time for brand transparency is now – fully embrace it.

What Is Brand Transparency?

Brand transparency is how a company shows itself to be open and honest. This is especially true when in the spotlight of all things related to public interactions. Brand transparency is one of the strongest ways to gain consumer trust and loyalty. Lastly, it’s also a large factor in brand identity.

Imagine a time a company was open and honest in their communication. How did it make you feel? Conversely, try to remember a time where a company was closed-off and sheltered from the public. How did that make you feel? The difference is quite drastic.

A linked chain with the word 'Trust' on it.
Brand transparency builds trust.

Why Is It Necessary?

Gone are the days of keeping customers in the dark – intentionally or not. People who regularly purchase products are continually growing more concerned about the materials, ingredients and anything else included. Not only are customers willing to take their business elsewhere if a product doesn’t meet their transparency standards; they’re also willing to pay a higher price for products that do.

In order to satisfy the modern customer, companies need to rework their entire operations in order to ensure all levels of transparency throughout each project. As brand transparency creates lifelong customers, it becomes a necessity. This is especially true in a time where the customer is highly concerned about what goes into their product and what type of company puts the product or service together.

What Are Some Benefits of Having a Transparent Brand?

When I was younger, a sales employee at a sports department store swiped my dad’s identification without asking. My dad didn’t understand why this happened, which made him upset. The sales clerk proceeded to print out a statement which showed exactly what the company does with the information. Though my dad was initially upset, this smoothed everything over.

The above example is proof of the power transparency offers. And the same applies to brand tenfold. The greater the transparency, the more satisfied the customer. Here are some of the main benefits of guiding your branding strategy toward total transparency.

A picture of two businessmen shaking hands.
Transparency builds lasting relationships.

It Builds Trusting Relationships

Transparency shows a company is both trustworthy and honest. Even after a mistake is made, a company who admits the mistake and is honest about the mishap benefits from their transparency. This humanizes your brand and invites customers to tie themselves emotionally to your product and services.

It Maintains Customer Loyalty

Statistics show that consumers patronize transparency at a high rate. Companies with sincere records of open behavior and communication are rewarded with stronger sales. On top of this, transparency develops loyal customers and usually creates lifelong customers.

A barista serves a man coffee.
Customer loyalty is always the ultimate goal.

How Can I Achieve Brand Transparency?

Transparency goes further than strategizing and implementing – it becomes a lifestyle of your company. That’s why it’s important to commit to the unorthodox and sometimes uncomfortable methods of increasing brand transparency. Here are some lesser-known ways that companies seldom attempt:

Show Vulnerability (Every Once in a While)

Your company isn’t perfect and that’s okay. In fact, no company is perfect. We all accept this, especially consumers. Therefore, if a company is presenting itself as flawless and without any mistakes, consumers become very suspicious and lose trust.

So instead of presenting yourself as a perfect brand, try embracing your flaws. Show that you can be vulnerable. It helps you connect with your consumer, as they may see themselves as having similar hang ups in life.It also assures them you’re going to be truthful in future transactions with them. Certainly this doesn’t mean you have to admit every little mistake. However, a few playful pokes at your own brand can work wonders.

A picture of a keyboard that says, "vulernability".
Company vulnerability is acceptable.

Increase Communication and Widen Feedback Channels

Make yourself more accessible to your consumers. This boost in communication creates better understanding. Also, give customers more room to offer their opinion on your product or services. They will value your willingness to allow their suggestions. They’ll also appreciate the fact that you are committed to hearing their criticisms and appreciations. All of this leads to an established rapport, ultimately through transparent brand practices.

Once you’ve achieved brand transparency, remember that it’s a lifelong process. Find new ways to stay open and honest with the public – it will make a huge difference.

Casey Schmidt – Content Manager and Industry Expert | Canto

Casey Schmidt is a content manager at Canto who enjoys taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand for readers.