Brand Transparency Reaps Brand Trust

Now more than ever, consumers won’t purchase or utilize services from a business without first building a certain level of trust. To put it simply, without brand trust, your business will simply not rank on the competitive scale. And the truth is, the digital age is playing a huge role in your business’ reputation. The information that reveals whether or not your business is a trustworthy one has emerged as important because now it’s accessible.

The internet has turned the modern purchaser into an amateur Sherlock Holmes. Within minutes of a search on the internet, a potential customer has access to a plethora of information about your businesses’ every move, including those made in the past. Now, don’t go into freak mode and start deleting every single negative review or past mistake you can find. Perfection isn’t realistic and to create a perception of perfection sets you up for failure because it’s an unattainable goal.

Public Relations and Reputation Management are two critical pieces of the brand trust puzzle. Why? Public Relations is perception. Specialists are paid big bucks to ensure that positive perception steadily trumps the negative. However, authentic perception means transparency, therefore effective, powerful PR comes from a transparent business.

Trust Stems From Truth

An Entrepreneur article sums up why this is the case:

“When buyers make purchases, they want to know their decisions are good for their family and align with personal or charitable interests. Trust can’t be bought. It must be earned. Consumers want to understand exactly what they are buying, and rightly deserve the knowledge they seek.”

In other words, trust must be earned. The modern purchaser simply wants to know who they are giving their business to. While your family and colleagues know you have a heart of gold, the consumer has to be convinced. Two important questions you are probably wondering is how to attain transparency and what to be transparent about?

How to Attain Transparency

External Transparency:

Do your research. If you were to google your business, what are you finding? In an external sense, many businesses have taken to social media or blogging to reveal a more personable side that caters to the specific needs of their customers. To communicate trust, they have revealed an identity behind the brand that will then serve as a platform for their trusted business reputation. Also, own up to your mistakes. At an early age, we all learned that apologies can make the world of difference. Any PR specialist will tell you that an honest apology is 100% more effective than covering up your mistakes or creating an avoidance plan.

Your kindergarten teachers weren’t lying… honesty really is the best policy.

Internal Transparency:

In order to achieve external trust, there must be internal trust among the various levels of management. Are your leaders being authentic, admitting to their mistakes and challenging others to do the same? Is a problem seen as a failure or as an avenue for progress? Is appropriate information being openly discussed within the business to ensure proper communication? Whole Foods is an excellent example of internal transparency as they decided to make all salaries accessible. In 1986, the CEO stated, 

If you’re trying to create a high-trust organization, an organization where people are all-for-one and one-for-all, you can’t have secrets.”

What to Be Transparent About

Don’t take this article as a push to tell the world everything you do and how you do it. Business strategy is not something you want to give out to competitors or advertise to the masses. As stated earlier, the purchaser simply wants to know who they could potentially be in business with, not the intricate plans to one-up the competition, the quarterly action items, or your daily system maintenance to-do items. Transparency means providing the customer with “the knowledge they seek” and not hiding the mistakes.

A transparent business builds a trustworthy reputation which establishes a loyal customer base and leads to business success.

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