brand transparency

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.

Authenticity

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.

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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.

Drive Integrity

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.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.