In today’s world of digital marketing, brand transparency has become increasingly important for businesses striving to grow and stay competitive. While traditional marketing was often about presenting a highly polished, curated image of the brand, modern customers are looking for something different — they want to have an inside look at a company and its values.
Brand transparency offers customers insight into what the company stands for, how it operates, and why it should be trusted — all of which can help foster business growth.
As consumers become more informed and opinionated, it’s essential for businesses to demonstrate that they’re trustworthy and accountable. Brand transparency can also help increase sales and drive further growth in a company. It creates a sense of trust between the company and its customers, as well as helps to build loyalty and image.
Let’s explore how brand transparency can be used to boost your business growth.
What Does Brand Transparency Mean?
Consumers are entering a new era, and that era is dominated by a need for brand transparency and authenticity. Gimmicks and marketing deals that hinge on large budgets and flashy visuals aren’t cutting it with younger audiences, particularly Gen Z and younger Millennials.
So, what does brand transparency look like for businesses? Transparency is the culmination of several efforts made by a brand to maintain open, honest, and accessible communication and relationships with internal and external stakeholders.
This includes disclosing important information about your operations, pricing, goals, values, certain data, sourcing, and more. A huge part of the push for sustainability in business practices and consumer product creation stems from the need for more brand transparency.
People want to know how their favorite products are being made, who is making them, and what your brand is doing to ensure that the people and companies you partner with and employ are also working toward a better future.
There are dozens of examples of bad marketing or lack of brand transparency every week. You need only spend a few minutes searching social media or your favorite search engine to find brands issuing apologies for thoughtless or misleading campaigns, sending official messages out with plans for being more transparent with their practices in the future, and so much more.
Brand transparency doesn’t mean you must now publish your quarterly financial reports or employee wages on your brand’s Twitter account, but there are many opportunities to use transparency to boost your brand’s visibility, and more importantly, to increase brand awareness and trust with your target audience.
The Importance of Brand Transparency
According to Bazaarvoice, 74% of Gen Z and 79% of millennials believe it’s important to buy from transparent brands. And transparency can’t just be a one-off apology or a promise to do better on a single issue in the future – just like your brand voice must be recognizable throughout every marketing campaign and brand message, transparency has to be incorporated into every facet of your brand’s goals and vision for the future. Here’s why.
Brand trust is increasingly important, even over price and other economic factors. Transparency creates trust, both internally and externally. If your employees and customers can trust your messages and information, they can quickly become lifelong supporters of your brand.
Transparency also inspires growth. More and more, consumers are looking to switch to brands they can trust are doing right by their consumers, employees, and the world at large. You can’t fake goodwill and engagement, but you can grow it using the transparency and content that your audience is looking for (and that your competitors aren’t providing). This transparency sometimes even includes the costs associated with your products, from labor to materials, shipping, and more.
Transparency also spurs employee engagement. There are several corporations that are placed under scrutiny for their labor practices, and in the current climate of labor shortages and wage discrepancies, the more information you can give to your employees, the better they’ll speak about your brand, both inside and outside of the office or storefront.
Building Transparency: Some Tips
There are many ways to build transparency for your brand, and we wanted to share a few of our favorite tips here.
First and foremost, you’ll need to be open and honest in all communications, and you can use a targeted brand persona to do that. We live in a digital world, where everything you say, as an individual or a company, is immortalized on the Internet forever. Whether you send a company newsletter to employees or post a blog article online, you need to make sure your message is true and consistent.
The next tip is to choose your level of transparency early and stick to it. Transparency doesn’t mean you must share trade secrets in order to win over new customers, but it does mean you need to be open and consistent with what and how you are going to share information with your audiences. For example, you can’t spend all of 2021 sharing cost and pricing breakdowns of every product, only to turn around in 2022 and choose not to do that any longer. Your audience will notice, and your customers will assume you are now trying to hide something from them.
Another great tip is to use your socials to actually be social! Sure you can work up some message templates to share with customers who are putting the same comments under your posts, but if someone comes into your DMs or comment sections with unique questions and criticisms, you should answer them as a brand representative, not as a pre-recorded message. The comment section is a great place to get honest feedback, praise, criticism, and ideas for future products and services.
A Trustworthy Payments System Can Also Build Brand Transparency
You see them all over the Internet: consumers sending direct messages, emails, and even leaving public reviews when a brand has treated them unfairly or refused to issue a refund.
We also see that the businesses and brands that can navigate these issues quickly and with transparency are often better for it in the long run. Too many scam websites, apps, and brands are taking pieces from other legitimate businesses – art, marketing assets, logos, pricing strategies, and more.
Because of this, it’s more important than ever that you can provide your customers, partners, and clients with comprehensive and quick resolutions when it comes to brand practices surrounding payment discrepancies and errors.
In addition to ReliaFund’s integrated payments platform where you can process eChecks, credit and debit card payments, ACH payments, and more, we also offer real-time reports and reconciliation. You can see all transactions in easy-to-read reports at any time, anywhere. The dashboard also allows you to review your transaction activity, from ACH to credit card transactions, and you can even drill down into the details of any transaction to provide the context and proof your executives, customers, and partners need.
Payment transparency is a building block of an honest brand. ReliaFund can help with our easy, transparent payment platform.