Brand Transparency: Is This the Key Step to Winning Customers’ Hearts?

The dramatic changes in the tech-driven world’s commercial culture have defined the strategies and behavioral models of businesses today.

It’s no longer morally and commercially acceptable for a business to pursue the sole aim of capitalizing on their customers, disregarding common integrity values. The consumer of the digital age is not equipped to tolerate negligence and condescension from companies, instead craving for fairness and transparency.

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

-George Orwell

Thus, many up-to-date companies across the world are adopting the techniques and tools to match the modern standards of communicating customers. Top businesses are now building brand transparency so as to address the expectations of their target audience. Still, the tendency of making a brand transparent is mired in controversy and speculation resulting from its downright liberal and loose nature.

So, what does brand transparency offer its followers? And are there any downsides to this ground-breaking phenomenon?

Brand Transparency

Defining Brand Transparency

Before we delve into the subtleties of this hot matter, let’s get to grips with what it constitutes first. Employing an open and honest way of treating your customers and keeping your mission clear – this is what the transparency of your business stands for. While Longman Dictionary presents the literal concept of transparency as “the quality of being easy to see through,” its application in the marketing industry allows to define an organization as being loyal to its customers and open to their scrutiny.

For a company, going transparent means providing consumers with a bridge between their inquisitiveness and the ins and outs of the organization. To be more precise, it means giving them the access to the company’s inside information.

What Your Company Can Get Out of Brand Transparency

Employing this innovative practice in your business incorporates numerous benefits and upsides. By letting the customers take a peek into the inner world of your company, you add some points to your image of a reputable service and eventually relieve the customers’ biases and wariness of dealing with you.

Now, let’s view the tremendous advantages you get with going transparent.

Creating Grounds for Trust

As was mentioned earlier, opening the door into your company responds to a consumer’s needs to find out more about the service they pay money to. A contemporary customer is too smart and fastidious to splurge on the products and services delivered by the company they know little about. These people are hard to trap into ordering products from software companies without knowing the companies are trustworthy. And the wider you open that door, the more trust and empathy you will get from your target audience.

Putting Your Competitors in Shade

The services that feature an ever-widening spectrum of goods are a dime a dozen nowadays. A client is enclosed by billions of giant companies luring them with their lavish ads and tempting offers. Seeing this all, it gets really challenging to stand out from all these “knights” of consumerism and make it to the top. But you can knock it out of the park provided you use brand transparency as your trump card.

Just think about it: would clients rather make an order at some opaque company showcasing scant information, or would they gladly entrust their time and savings to a service presenting a crystal-clear image, with its cracks and imperfections? This is why following the brand transparency religion will sharpen your reputability to the extent that no other similar service will be able to rival you!

Promotion via Social Media

As consumers pleased with your transparent policy, the customers will most likely want to share their remarkable experience of dealing with you. As a result, they will use their social media accounts as a digital medium for letting the world know how amazing your organization is. And vice versa, if your company fails to fulfill the customers’ right for free access to information, these same Facebook and Twitter accounts will serve them as a cyber-weapon for annihilating your reputation.

That is why, given the all-embracing power that social media possess, you are bound to revamp, remaster, rework the policies within your company, or do whatever it takes for it to stand up to something that finicky clients would definitely want to mention in their picture-perfect posts.

Becoming a Brand

Brand vs Commodity

In the marketing world, there are two broad terms used to denote the commercial offer consumers receive – a brand and a commodity. They rub shoulders within a business, being the core elements of product and service development and trust building. However, one largely diverges from one another regarding the customer’s experience.

Generally speaking, a commodity is a product that consumers get from a company. It’s a physical asset, a representation of a company that can be seen, smelt, or touched. For instance, an iPhone is a commodity of the Apple brand. Without commodities, a brand couldn’t function even at the basic level. But without a brand, no commodity would ever make it to the store shelves.

So, what is a brand?

What is a brand

As opposed to a commodity, this notion stands for the idea behind any company delivering products or services to consumers. Through a brand, customers identify the name, slogan, or logo of the company that uses this brand. While a commodity is a physical representation of a company, as was stressed above, a brand is the emotional one. The company is more the brand it features than the commodities it produces. It’s a brand that makes an organization renowned and earns you customer loyalty. Therefore, it would be reasoned to state that branding plays a more substantial role in gaining your company’s name than commodity production.

It represents the imagery describing a service, and provides consumers with an emotional experience they get as the customers of this service. And if the consumer’s relations with a commodity are confined to the functional level, a brand goes far beyond, resonating with them at the emotional level.

And, given the highly emotional nature of this commercial concept, we can conclude that a brand makes the personality of a company, flavoring its image with a distinctive and outstanding quality. As another example, let’s take the same, good old “forbidden fruit” company. The brand of Apple Inc. features the symbol of an apple (as simple as it gets), more specifically, its glossy front part. Aside from this symbol, the enterprise’s reputation has been synonymous with one of the world’s greatest innovators: its founder, Steve Jobs. This is why this brand is also viewed as the timeless embodiment of the genius.

Are You a Brand?

Now that we have sorted out a brand from a commodity and figured out what’s more effective for a company’s growth, we can trace the connection between the transparency of your brand and the value it brings to consumers. As we mentioned earlier, despite the brand and the commodity going together in your business, there’s a sharp contrast between them.

And it’s brand transparency that makes them different. Brand transparency is what makes you a brand. If you don’t provide your customers with the insight into your service, your enterprise will simply resemble an ordinary commodity instead of being a full-functioning brand. Transparency sets your business apart from a regular second-grade syndicate releasing commodities. Therefore, in order to make your company recognizable and win customer loyalty, you would want to let the client in.

What Are the Possible Drawbacks of Brand Transparency?

Drawbacks of Brand Transparency

As we emphasized at the beginning of this article, the question of brand transparency is encompassed by a heated dispute. This stems from the fact that this practice gives consumers the unrestrained freedom in surveying the company, entangling a number of repercussions that can harm its image and productivity. Let’s do some research into how this “transparent” culture might affect a brand’s performance.

Information Leaks

The unrestricted access to a company’s information that comes with brand transparency assumes people will go beyond the reasonable limits. With the permission to go through the subtle details of your business, it’s quite possible that your company will be afflicted by information leaks, which may lead to information theft by your competitors. For this reason, you have to be cautious with what content you display on your website, in the promo videos, or what intimate matters of your company you reveal in interviews. Don’t let it transpire when making it transparent.

Going Transparent Takes Up Too Much of Everything

Undertaking brand transparency practice in your business is a long and painstaking process that may cost you a pretty penny as well as consume plenty of your time. Being totally immersed in tuning the commercial culture of your company to this practice, your staff will put aside some other important agenda points that are essential for the healthy functioning of your organization. Ultimately, nothing will be good enough to make it transparent. That is why, it’s important to be sure to allocate the time and funds for going transparent wisely and reasonably.

It Removes the Veil From Your Dirty Laundry

Presenting your company in all its glory is what this cutting-edge practice is all about. And naturally, this includes revealing all the ups and downs of your performance, which may be quite repellent to consumers. If your organization is brimming with alarming contretemps you uncover for your customers, then adopting the brand transparency technology may blemish your reputation considerably. But this downside to making your brand transparent can easily be confronted by one straightforward argument: if a company’s inside information is grim enough to drive away customers, it may need to review its performance and adapt it to the fair standards the commercial industry has established. And only after a company has sharpened its quality and expertise, can it implement the strategy of brand transparency, which will now work only in its favor.

Drawing the Line

As a newfangled method of appealing to the spoilt customer of our age, brand transparency paves the way for a company’s rapid growth and advancement in the innovation-fueled industry. By keeping up with this consumer-inspired trend, your business will be able to take on the avant-garde standards and techniques of establishing healthy relations with the customer. And this will earn you the affection of customers fascinated only by a committed attitude and fair philosophy of doing business.

The epoch of obscurity and secrecy among commercial entities is at the brink of extinction. It is being inevitably squeezed out by more democratic and client-favorable practices that mirror the world’s transition to the modern era of advanced human intelligence and unconstrained freedom. The outdated model of living, so vividly and thought-provokingly portrayed in the dystopia by the rebel whose quote starts this argumentative article, is almost dismantled by forward-looking cultures such as brand transparency.

As a result, consumers have fathomed that today’s mercantile realm is no longer repressed by the “Big Brother” of the marketing traditions of the past millennium. And the more transparent you will make your business enterprise, the less it will have in common with the culture of trading that has already run dry.

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