Brand transparency is about how a brand shows itself to be authentic regarding public interactions.
It also indicates how a brand shows itself to be accessible to internal and external stakeholders.
The digital revolution has played a major role in creating transparency outside the four walls of a business, giving rise to reviewers, critics, and citizen -journalists eager to report on every encounter they have with a brand or company.
Brand transparency is one of the most effective ways to gain the trust and loyalty of a target market. It refers to a brand’s active attempt at honesty.
For brands, being transparent is about responding frequently and promptly to the conversations that take place about their products and services, about creating the platforms where these conversations can take place, and about giving customers more access to whatever is going on inside the business.
Brands need to show their true colors, whether it’s by inviting consumers to have a look behind the scenes, letting insiders spread the word, or simply by revealing the processes of manufacture more openly. Given below are some ways companies can be transparent.
Communicate with Customers
Brands can become more transparent when they facilitate communication on social media platforms.
They can truly connect with customers when they treat such platforms as more than mere channels for promotion. Investing in relationships with consumers strengthens customer loyalty.
For instance, Dell IdeaStorm allowed customers to participate in the development and enhancement of Dell’s products and services by sharing customers’ ideas online.
Brand authenticity is simply a decision to be honest. Consumers want companies to act with authenticity at all times. With the rise of misinformation, data breaches, and privacy concerns, it is important to gain the trust of customers.
For instance, Volkswagen decided to give people full access to the production process of its luxury Phaeton to prove to customers that the Phaeton is indeed different from other cars.
The production process is traditionally kept behind closed doors. The company set up a ‘transparent’ factory in the heart of Dresden, at a cost of some $287 million. The factory’s walls were made almost entirely of glass, and its layout was designed to receive tourists, prospects, and customers.
Brand integrity can give a business an edge over competitors in terms of transparency. To demonstrate integrity, a brand establishes its own ground rules, values, policies, and processes, and makes it clear that it has nothing to hide. With mounting expectations from customers, brand integrity isn’t always the easiest thing to get right. Having a brand purpose and being consistent across communication channels can boost brand integrity. The ability to be flexible and adapt is priceless when it comes to maintaining a strong brand.
Admitting mistakes is also a powerful way to be seen as authentic. For instance in 2019, KFC went through a highly publicized crisis when issues with delivery provider DHL caused a mass shortage of chicken at its outlets across the UK.
KFC responded by publishing full-page ads in the national press featuring one of its famous buckets with the company name rearranged to read ‘FCK’ instead of ‘KFC’. This expressed the mood of its deprived customers. The witty response was very well received, and no lasting damage was done to the brand.