What is ‘brand transparency’ and what does it have to do with my business?
At Deearo Marketing, we love to share with you some of the tricks of our trade and technical vocab. Today, we bring you the term ‘brand transparency’ to broaden your marketing horizons. What’s more, we want to tell you why you should care what brand transparency is and how it applies to your business. So, without further ado, here is our rundown of everything you need to know about making your brand transparent.
What is Brand Transparency?
It’s the logical first question to ask. Essentially, Brand transparency has to do with what you choose to communicate to the world. Everything you post on social media, on your website or write about your company on paper creates your brand. What you choose for others to know about you shapes how they think of you. This can work for your benefit or your detriment, depending on two main things:
1. What your brand is
If the information you share and make available about you is all on-brand, then it will make you seem more appealing to potential customers. Making sure you know what image you want to present to the world will help you to tell if what you are writing and posting is in alignment with your brand. Brand confusion is a common problem, and we think the problem stems from not being clear enough with yourself and your team about who you are as a company. ‘Who are you?’, ‘What do you specifically do?’ and ‘What do you stand for?’ are all questions you should be able to answer clearly and in only a few words. Everything you write about your company should reflect these things. If what you’re releasing into the world doesn’t reflect your company’s values, then you have a brand confusion problem.
2. Is your brand trustworthy?
In order for potential customers to trust you enough to make a purchase, they need to see a trustworthy brand. So, making sure all your content is in agreement with your brand is not enough. You need to make sure that the brand you’re promoting is an honest and a positive one.
DeBroome writes that, “many consumers consider it is important for a company to be transparent, resulting in customer-loyalty.” So, you wish to be honest about your company while presenting a trustworthy image. If your business supports a charitable cause, for example, let it be known and try to make sure it is a charity that is somehow relevant to you. If you own a hairdressing business, you might consider supporting a charity that specialises in providing wigs to people who have lost their hair to chemotherapy, for example. This will show that your truly care about people feeling their best and looking their best even when it doesn’t profit you. That will, in turn make your target market more trustworthy of your intentions and will result in them trusting you with their own hair.
What does your brand say about you?
We have mentioned making sure your brand is easily defined and not confusing to customers. We have also stressed the importance of making your brand appear trustworthy, but there is a little more to it than that. Your brand creates a virtual image of who people think you are. Yes, you want to be trustworthy to attract new custom, but what else does your brand say about you?
If you can’t answer that, we seriously recommend sitting down with a pad and pen and asking yourself some direct questions. Try to make sure you are answering them in as few words as possible while still being accurate. You need to know who you are as a company. That isn’t just what you do, people also need to know your core values. Do you consider yourselves particularly community centred or ecologically conscious? Then say it. Think about what makes your business great and make that a part of your brand.
If you simply don’t know how your customers would describe you, or what your community knows about you, then we advise some market research. Customer research can tell you clearly what your target market thinks about you, what image you have presented up until now, which will highlight how you can improve your brand.
What does your brand say about you?
Okay, we’re not exactly disagreeing with your mum. She was totally on the money when she told you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Somewhere in your life, we bet someone will have said those words to you at some point. Be it your mum, head teacher, parole officer, whoever, it’s a great rule to live by, but it doesn’t work when you apply it to your marketing approach. Many people mistakenly think that if you cannot say anything positive on your social media then you should be silent and not say anything. We disagree. It’s really important to stay consistent with your online presence. If things aren’t going well with your company right now, you can still post honestly on social media without making your company appear weak. You don’t have to tell the world everything that’s going on with your business, especially the bad, but the more you are able to say, the more transparent you appear. It’s your business. But people do trust companies that are forthcoming with their information. To most people transparency equals trustworthiness. It makes it look like you have nothing to hide.
Don’t make the mistake being tight-fisted with your information. People like to know about anyone new on your staff. They like to know about your offers or any changes to the services you offer, but if you don’t have any new updates to share, you still need to post something because they still need to know that you are there.
During the pandemic, many businesses stopped posting at all on social media. Since they were forced to close or drop back on staff or trading, they felt they had nothing new to say. It’s also difficult during the worst year of many people’s lives to find something to say that is positive, relevant and true. It’s Okay to post things that aren’t happy online though. We’re not saying to spread misery or anything, but sympathising with others doesn’t make your image worse, it makes it better and more honest. So even if you don’t have anything “nice” to say, don’t make the mistake of allowing your company to be forgotten about by not saying anything. When the lockdown is over, you’ll want to pick up where you left off and it won’t do at all if your loyal customers have forgotten all about you in the meantime.
If you need some help with your brand image, market research or beating brand confusion, do let us know. Get in touch to see how we can help get your business on-brand and beating this recession.