You cannot fool or mislead your customers today!
They are smarter than you, more well-informed, and intelligent!
They have all the necessary tools and equipment in place to keep brands under 24 hours surveillance.
Nothing can remain a hush-hush affair for long.
Afterall, secrecy in business is long dead! Instead, what customers look for is authenticity and radical transparency. Otherwise, you can expect all those social groups to come running behind your back if your business process or your supply chain has dark secrets to protect.
With the rising importance of environment protection, corporate governance, and labor rights, big brands are compelled to lay bare their hidden secrets to the world.
For instance, PETA fought a long-drawn battle with Fashion Brands and Pharmaceutical companies to end animal cruelty.
Also, recently, many popular fashion brands were rebuked for engaging in child labor and forced labor in their supply chain. As a result, millennials, the new generation of decision-makers, are more vigilant than their predecessors.
“52 percent of them agreed that they always research for background information before buying, compared with 45 percent of Gen Z consumers and 41 percent of baby boomers.”
Likewise, “42 percent of millennials say they want to know what goes into products and how they are made before they buy, compared with 37 percent of Gen Z.”
So you see, you can’t fool them!
The question is, what is there to hide?
Opening a new venture and becoming an entrepreneur has probably been your passion. However, wrapping it up before your idea even tasted the fruits of success is something that you do not desire, right?
So you have to understand the importance of transparency to survive the changing ideology of the young buyers. So let’s see how staying authentic and transparent helps your business.
Understanding the Importance of Humanizing Your Brand
To begin with, what does transparency in business mean?
Well! The Internet defines transparency as an approach where businesses maintain “open, honest, and accessible communications and relationships with internal and external stakeholders.”
Your customers like to know what are your business goals and values. In addition, they would like to have a clear understanding of how you operate, what are your pricing and sourcing strategies, what are your annual sales figures, and so on.
Big brands often release Corporate Responsibility Reports to communicate with their stakeholders about how they conduct their operations and how their decisions impact the environment and the community as a whole.
Yes! That’s one of the many ways to communicate what your brand stands for with your end-users. This is how transparency in corporate communications work.
But why it has become so important to paint a clear picture in the minds of your many stakeholders. Let’s find out –
#Benefit 1: Transparency Implies Trust
You can never have a group of most loyal customers if you fail to gain their trust in the first place. Brand loyalty begins when companies start opening their doors and windows to others.
Only a handful of customers admit to trusting most of the brands they use regularly. That’s just 34%. However, once that trust is established, 62% of customers will stay loyal to that brand forever.
How do you think trust happens? Like Rome was not built in a day, trust takes time to develop in the minds of your customers. But, you can start by staying transparent about your company’s return policies or dispute remedies.
Such information should compel your customers to give your brand a try, knowing that they can have that replaced or their money refunded if the product doesn’t match their expectations.
A product or service with no clear return policy will never gain the trust of the customers. In fact, their products will never sell.
#Benefit 2: Transparency is Another Term for Authenticity
How authentic your business depends on how transparent you are with your business goals, objectives, and values.
But, one can argue that authenticity is just a word. Brands and businesses can write anything they want. Who is monitoring whether they are living up to their promises or not?
Believe us, customers do! They keep a close eye on your actions and how genuine you are about those objectives you mentioned on your website. They will figure out if there is any lapse existing in the execution of those objectives.
This is because consumers are more well-informed today than ever before. So, it is not hard to type a few keywords and fetch news about your company, all thanks to digital and social media.
Remember that 89% of customers are loyal to brands that share their integrity, authenticity, and honest values.
#Benefit 3: Transparency Implies Growth
As mentioned earlier, the world has witnessed a new surge of customers and activists stressing more on the need for brands and businesses to open up and reveal their business practices and principles and how they pertain to ethics, sustainability and even pricing.
The fashion industry has already faced the brunt of these activists. Some of the brands’ lack of transparency and poor corporate governance policies have made them the soft target for activists like PETA.
How customers perceive the value of services should align with the respective brand’s perception of those values. Once satisfied, these customers are ready to pay the price for the products/services.
They stay loyal to the brand and work as silent propagators. That means they are likely to promote your business through ‘word-of-mouth.’
Did you see the chain reaction here too?
One loyal customer implies gaining two more loyal customers.
If you wish to grow your business, you cannot undermine the power of your loyal supporters.
The bottomline is…
Your business is an entity – it has its share of characteristics, values, and goals.
Unfortunately, we tend to alienate ourselves from people whose values contradict ours. Likewise, if your brand doesn’t share the same values as your target customers, your business will never grow or sustain for long.
Only jotting down those objectives and values will not serve the purpose. You have to live your values, and those values should reflect in your services, operations, and across your supply chain.
Also, you have to be transparent about them. Else, customers will never trust your brand.
After all, what’s seen is sold!
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