Old School Investigation
Today’s customers want to know where the goods they buy come from. They expect full transparency as to whether a product has been ethically sourced, the treatment of labourers and whether or not a business is actually trustworthy.
From a content marketing perspective, this is a great opportunity to provide easy-to-access information about the origins of what you offer – or, even better, share your brand story with the world.
Consumers Demand Transparency and Authenticity
Transparency is the best way to build trust with your customers. As Matt Franken wrote in his Entrepreneur article, “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.”
When consumers are making decisions to buy, they’re looking for brands that are good for their family and aligned with their best interests. Brands that focus on transparency have the ability to humanise their business and build authentic relationships with consumers.
Transparency and authenticity are changing the landscape of online purchasing power.
Brands Who Are Practicing It Successfully
Everlane, an online clothing and accessory store, is a great example of how a brand puts transparency at the centre of their business. On their website, you can browse every factory that produces their clothing and read about how they founded it, the materials they use and a story about the owner.
When you visit their about page, you’ll find that Everlane doesn’t shy away when it comes to pricing. Not only do they highlight their ethical approach to fair wages, working conditions and compliance, but you’ll also see a detailed price breakdown for their products. From materials to labour to shipping fees, they show you the true cost and compare it next to traditional pricing.
If companies don’t provide this information, consumers don’t trust the brand, and more than one-third of them will switch to a different brand.
The fashion industry isn’t the only place where transparency, honesty and authenticity make a difference. In a survey by Label Insight on people’s food choices, the majority of responders claimed that product transparency and ingredients were important. If companies don’t provide this information, consumers don’t trust the brand, and more than one-third of them will switch to a different brand.
In the airline industry, where hidden fees and extra costs are common practice, Southwest Airlines puts transparency at the front of their marketing camping. They use the catchphrase “Transfarency” and the hashtag #FeesDontFly to emphasise their value proposition of no hidden fees or extra costs. Being upfront with their customers about offering no surprises at checkout, the campaign resulted in nearly 5 million likes on Facebook.
Implications for Your Content Marketing
Being transparent and authentic with consumers is a necessary best practice when it comes to content marketing. Sharing the history, culture, values and story of your brand is a step in the right direction towards building better relationships with new and returning customers.
Instead of hiding the facts, give people what they expect and let them know that trust is the cornerstone of how you do business.