Whiplash Team, 13th May 2022

Transparency. A new pursuit for brands

Consumer trust is not achieved overnight. Even less so in a scenario of globalized digital communications where information about what we do or say is a click away. The demand for transparency from all sectors is gaining ground in society and brands are no exception.

Transparency is the new pursuit for brands. In addition to responsible consumption and business sustainability –as concepts that encompass not only the environment but also the economic and social aspects–, the transparency of brands in their actions and communication has become one of the determining factors for users when it comes to selecting one brand over another.

With increasing momentum, society adds transparency to its list of demands in all sectors, including business. But what does it mean for a brand to be transparent? Well, simply being as open and honest as possible about what’s going on behind the scenes.

Various studies show that consumers are willing to pay more for brands they believe in and whose values ​​and purpose they agree with.

The data, however, is not encouraging. Havas’ Meaningful Brands Report 2021 (latest published), which includes surveys on 395,000 consumers worldwide, reveals that for them “less than half of brands are considered trustworthy (47%) and 75% could disappear and would be easily replaced”.

Transparency builds trust

Trust is the basis of the brand-user relationship. Transparency, for its part, is one of the elements that helps build that trust and demonstrates that the values ​​that a brand defends truly form part of its purpose.

It has never been easy to gain consumer trust, but today much less so. Consumers monitor their brands and do not tolerate inconsistency in a hyperconnected world, where all the information is just a click away.

These consumers turn their attention to those companies with a purpose, brand identity and a story that incorporate into their position in society.

Thus, the corporations that succeed in this scenario of “activist consumption” are those that embrace and include their social purpose in their DNA.

But that is not enough. That purpose, that reason for the company’s existence, must be present in everything it does or says, and there is no room for inconsistencies.

To generate a lasting feeling of trust in users that impacts the bottom line, it is essential for organizations to stay true to their purpose.

In addition, they must generate a culture and identity based on the values ​​that they issue from their HQ, connecting them with everything and converting them into a collective goal.

Some keys to be more transparent

Be honest. The culture of the organization must be committed to transparency from the outset. It’s not about the message, it’s about the actions. How we do what we do. We must think carefully about the expectations we build around the brand and if we can meet them.

Be empathic. People must be at the centre of all brand strategies. On the other hand, brands that show their human face generate greater empathy with their users.

Be accessible. The information offered must be easily and quickly accessible on digital channels.

Be constant. The interaction between the brand and the user must be based on relationships rather than transactions. When a customer contacts a company, he expects a quick and honest response. Offering adequate and timely answers can help a user at a critical moment in the purchase cycle; it can ease frustration with a problem and avoid receiving a negative note or prevent leaving a negative review of our brand.

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