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How Brands Can Use Transparency to Build Customer Trust

If your company isn’t working to improve its transparency, you might already be falling behind. Transparency is becoming more important to consumers, and if you don’t work to provide it to them, you might get lost in a sea of irrelevance.

So why is transparency becoming more important, and what can you do to provide it?

Why Transparency Is Becoming More Important

There are a few factors leading to the increased prioritization of transparency:

  • Consumer distrust. Consumers are in the middle of a crisis in trust. They don’t trust institutions, such as corporations and governmental organizations, as much as they used to. There are a variety of factors responsible for this, including the greed responsible for the 2008 economic collapse, the prevalence of modern advertising, and contemporary political divisions. But regardless of the root cause, the effect is still the same; consumers are distrustful of corporations and organizations, and transparency can help you restore their trust.
  • Information availability. Consumers also have access to more information than ever before. That means if you try to hide something from them, they’ll probably find out anyway—and the fact that you tried to hide it will make your company look even worse. Plus, it’s easier than ever to communicate your messages through social media and other online channels, so there’s no real excuse not to make your information publicly available.
  • Sheer competition. Thanks to the surge in studies supporting the value of brand transparency, there are more brands than ever before trying to make themselves more transparent. That means most of your competitors are either already attempting to be more transparent, or have plans to do so in the future, which increases the pressure on you to follow suit.

How to Display more Transparency

So what can you do to increase transparency?

  • Show where your products come from. If you sell products, you can start by doing more to explain where your products come from. For example, you could list the ingredients on your makeup product, the way Milani Cosmetics does, or show exactly where your food products came from, just like Fishpeople Sea Food. When people know the origins of the products they buy, they purchase more confidently.
  • Detail your CSR efforts. You can also take measures to publish a corporate social responsibility (CSR) report, to show consumers what active measures you’re taking to improve your community and environment—after all, 82 percent of S&P 500 companies and big names like Disney and Google are already doing it.
  • Get ahead of bad news. You can also make a concentrated effort to get ahead of bad news, before it has the chance to come out on its own. When something bad happens to your company, or if you make a mistake, it’s almost always better to proactively explain it and make up for it.

Transparency doesn’t have to be a major budget item, nor does it require a team of experts to handle. Instead, a simple culture change and more open communication are all it takes to make your business more accessible and trustworthy to the majority of your customers.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your transparency, there are several software products that can help. For starters, you can rely on a supplier management platform that helps you better understand the path your product takes from scratch to consumers’ hands. And with the right marketing platform, you can ensure your messages are getting heard by the right people—and in the right ways.

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