In a world filled with scandals and conspiracies, transparency goes a long way in facilitating trust. Whether it's a politician running for office or a person looking for a date on Tinder, honesty is usually the best policy. And if you're a startup founder that thinks lying to your customer base is a good idea, some new information has come to light that says that's a bad idea.
In a study conducted by Label Insight, 94 percent of consumers claim that they would be more loyal to a brand if they promoted complete brand transparency. No marketing schemes duping potential customers, no product recalls without explanation, and no devious plans to put more money in their pocket at the expense of everyday citizens. And if you think this is too hard, you're doing your business a serious disservice.
“Simply put, transparency has positive implications for brands — fostering product loyalty, brand loyalty and increasing the product’s worth in a consumer’s mind,” wrote the authors of the study. “In an age where consumers are more concerned about what’s in the products they use and consume than ever before, brands that provide shoppers with the information they seek through their preferred channels will reap the benefits.”
Transparency is so important in business that people are actually willing to pay more for it. According to the data, more people (37 percent) are willing to between 1 and 10 percent more than would rather pay nothing (27 percent). Even 26 percent of those surveyed said they would pay between 11 and 50 percent more if brands committed to telling customers about everything in their products.
As far as what transparency actually means to those surveyed, the answers varied. While most believed that transparency meant that the company provides a complete list all ingredients, many also believed it meant in-depth explanations, comprehensive certifications, production schedules, and listed allergens to all customers buying their product.
While this data may not be surprising to most consumers, companies far and wide have a lot of trouble with this kind of transparency. Whether it's tax scandals or recall fiascos, businesses around the world still think that cloak and dagger practices are the best way to keep the capital flowing. And until someone crams these statistics down their throat with a chimney brush, we might not see the transparency we deserve for a long time.