4 Steps To Breaking Through With Transparent Communication

Brands That Communicate clearly and transparently will win

It’s no secret we live in a world where consumers are overwhelmed with the number of  choices they have almost every product category. With “substitutes and alternatives available at every turn,” it’s crucial that your brand stands out. Successful brands with longevity communicate with simple and transparent language why consumers should choose their option over others’.

In the end it’s all about building trust with consumers. Trust comes from transparent and honest communication, delivering on your promises, and making amends when you screw up. 

Building Consumer Trust With Transparency

According to Nielsen’s 2019 Navigating The Trust Economy in CPG Report , “a transaction today involves more than just an exchange of payment for goods and services. It involves an exchange of data and is a reflection of trust.” Brands need to do more than simply make consumers aware of their products. They need to  convince consumers to try their products and then deliver on the experience that convincing promised.

Without delivering on the promise, brands will have unprofitable churn on “one and done” consumers, who today, are more able to share their displeasure than ever before. 

These points were reinforced when we attended Credo’ Clean Beauty Summit in San Francisco earlier this month. 

A walk through beauty stores and the health and beauty aisles at big box and grocery stores is an exercise in confusion of what seems like an infinite number labels.  So many regulated, unregulated and partially regulated labels and claims that seem to be growing exponentially every year. So how to break through to help consumers put your products in their physical or virtual shopping baskets?

4 Ways To Break Through With Transparent Communications

1.Tell People What You Stand For. Of course, this assumes you know what you stand for – if you don’t read more here and here. Nothing reflects how important this is more than Business Roundtable’s redefinition of Purpose of a Corporation, which until last year stated that “corporations exist principally to serve their shareholders.” Today, the Purpose of a Corporation has shifted dramatically to include serving customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders. An organization such as the Business Roundtable does not make this dramatic change if who you are and what you stand for doesn’t matter to the bottom lines. 

2. Describe your products truthfully and transparently. Use clear language and meaningful labels that tell the truth about what’s in your products, how you manufactured them, and how you packaged them. Don’t put “Gluten Free” on a bottle of water; water doesn’t have gluten unless you add it. Similarly “reduces wrinkles” with fine print that 1 out of 1,000 people saw visible lines decrease by 1% is B.S. 

3. Deliver the experience you promise. The end.

4. Respond to your consumers quickly, authentically and truthfully. While it’s true that trolls and questionably disappointed consumers exist (for instance the consumer who demands a full refund for the Peanut Butter that wasn’t very good after they ate the whole jar), most people with questions or complaints have legitimate concerns. Beef up and retrain your customer service personnel to answer questions in real, clear language and a good attitude. If you screw up, apologize. 

Clarity, transparency and meeting the expectations you set is the key to creating customers who will remain with you for the long haul, no matter how many new alternatives come into your category.