Technology is powerful, and this power gives businesses access to insights that can inform everything from products to services to internal operations to marketing initiatives. These insights, when leveraged correctly, give companies a leg up over their competition. But companies aren’t the only ones taking advantage of technology’s many benefits—consumers are doing their research, too.
Trust is thicker than money
Before digitization, consumers never thought much about brand perception. You found a product you liked or needed, you bought it. It’s not necessarily that they didn’t care about the business or its values, but there really was no way to lift the veil. Technology has changed all of that.
Now, most consumers do a little digging into prospective companies before they consider making a purchase. They no longer only care about the what, they also want to know the who. They realize that traditional sales tactics were built on gimmicks and lies and they no longer want to hear that they’re getting “the best” products unless they are actually getting the best products. Quality is no longer contingent on convenience like it was in the past. Today, trust is everything.
Are there skeletons in your closet?
Consumers can find out anything they want to know about your business and your products — and they will leave no stone left unturned. It’s your choice: will you choose transparency or give consumers reason to believe you’re hiding something? Because if you are hiding something, it’s only a matter of time until someone finds the skeletons in your closet.
Take Burger King, for example. They were quick to launch their Impossible Burger last year around the same time that other fast food chains were adding more plant-based options to their menus. There was an immediate uptick in sales, but not long after their Impossible Burger hit stores did it come out that Burger King employees were cooking the patties on the same grills that they use for their chicken and beef. Now, Burger King is facing lawsuits for misleading the vegetarians and vegans they claim they wanted to serve with their plant-based patties.
Your customers should never take a backseat to profit. Corporate greed is why so many Americans are skeptical of businesses in the first place. To show your customers that they’re at the forefront of your business, make transparency part of your mission.
Transparency as a business philosophy
Do you believe you have a good product? Great, but simply making a product look good isn’t enough anymore. People want quality, but they want quality through brand transparency, especially when it comes to products that consumers are ingesting — from food products to drinks to supplements. 93 percent of consumers are more likely to shop from a company they feel is trustworthy, with 73 percent willing to pay more for products that come from open, honest businesses.
In other words: transparency sells. Larger organizations already know this and are beginning to take steps to achieve next-level transparency. Walmart, a conglomerate that is seemingly always under fire, has been using blockchain technology to monitor their leafy greens so they can track any produce-borne illness to the exact farm it came from. There are even monitoring groups whose entire purpose is to hold companies accountable to what they claim to be. Good On You, for example, follows the global fashion industry and will call out any brands that lie about being sustainable or ethical.
I believe that transparency should be the future of all businesses, so much so that at NatureCity, we’ve made it part of our four-pillar business philosophy. Our quality commitment to consumers promises that every ingredient we use in our nutritional supplements is grounded on scientific research. This means our product development is ongoing, with many of our products getting upgrades over the years.
Our saying is, “If we won’t take it, we don’t make it.” And shouldn’t that be the standard for all companies? You shouldn’t be willing to lower your standards to make a few extra bucks when you know you wouldn’t invest in a second-rate product yourself.
Offer transparency and get transparency in return
credit transparency for making us a better company. When we’re open with our consumers, they are invited to reciprocate that same honesty back to us. When consumers build a relationship with a brand they trust, they are 80 percent more likely to share more information about their experience because they know it will lead to better products and an even stronger rapport that will benefit them in the long-term.
When you’re in the thick of running a business day in and day out, there is a lot you can end up missing. You might think your product is good, but what are consumers saying about it? When you open yourself up to feedback, you gain crucial insights that can inform your future growth. Through the transparent relationships we have with our customers, we’ve learned so much about our products that have influenced our own product development.
Feedback is transformative, but only if you invite it in. And the only way to ensure people feel comfortable being candid with you is to offer that same transparency up to them.
It bears repeating: there is no hiding in today’s digital world. It is our responsibility to ensure that we are promoting transparency alongside technology to foster growth, collaboration, and convenience. Transparency is no longer a choice: either it comes from you or your deception will eventually be unveiled despite your efforts to cover it up. What side will you be on?