Authenticity and Transparency
There’s no doubt about it. The consumer market has evolved exponentially with the multitudes of products and services available to us.
Take a product like milk for example …
There once was a time when the only kind of milk available was whole milk (sourced from a cow) and the only way to get it was from a milk delivery service.
It eventually became available at local markets, including the introduction of different fat variances (skim milk, 2% milk, and whole milk).
Then organic and A2 specific cow options arrived, followed by more and more competing brands.
Somewhere in that timeline was the onset of different source choices of milk. Soy milk, goat milk, rice milk, oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, almond milk, etc.
Let’s not forget all the different variations to some of those milk sources too (vanilla, plain, chocolate, unsweetened, etc.)
You get the idea.
Choices, choices, and then more choices.
Here’s a fun fact that might surprise you …
The average adult makes more than 35,000 decisions per day.
Hard to believe?
Now think about all the decisions you make on just ONE product … Again, going back to the one example of milk. You may think to yourself: What’s the best value? Which is better for me and my particular circumstance?
What’s the better brand? What size do I need?
With all the options available to us for nearly every product out there in the marketplace, it’s almost impossible not to become overwhelmed.
So much so, there’s actually a name for it.
It’s called the Paradox of Choice.
It’s a phenomenon that is quickly becoming an increasing concern in our world of seemingly endless access to such a vast array of products and services.
What’s really interesting, is contrary to what we might believe to be the case, according to this paradox, the more options (or choices) we are given, the harder it is for us to make a decision.
In fact, in some cases, a decision is NOT made at all by the consumer out of fear of making the wrong choice.
As a business owner trying to sell your product or service, where does that leave you in such a fierce and competitive market?
The answer is simple.
It leaves you with a BIG opportunity.
An opportunity to capture your market and make your company, product, or service the only choice in your prospect’s mind.
And it’s not as hard as you may think to accomplish this. To a varying degree, it’s as easy as just being yourself …
It’s called being Authentic.
When a consumer feels the brand/company is authentic and transparent, brand trust is established.
Transparency + Authenticity = Brand Trust
You’ve heard me say this time and again.
The importance of TRUST.
It’s a vital piece to the sustainability and growth of any business.
Why? Because it’s a critical competitive differentiator in the marketplace, no matter what product or service you offer.
Now what do I exactly mean by transparency and authenticity?
When a brand is transparent, it reveals important information to the consumer market about their operations, their goals, their core values, their mission, etc.
This kind of transparency allows the prospect to align with their company or brand.
When they feel aligned, they resonate at a higher level with their company or brand.
One element of transparency may be simply giving the buyer confidence to buy from you without worry. Amazon is a great example of this.
Part of why Amazon has managed to gain such a huge foothold in so many markets is because of their no-hassle return policy that is communicated clearly and simply. No fine print, just no-hassle. Period.
But it’s not just about talking the talk — it’s also about walking the walk. This is where authenticity comes in.
A company cannot be authentic without first being transparent.
A company really has to live by their core values and stand behind their promises 100% to really prove they are authentic. It’s as simple as that.
Can you stand behind your brand promise 100%?
How transparent and authentic is your company or brand from where your ideal audience resides?
Here are my 4 tips on how to achieve transparency and authenticity quite effortlessly:
1. Let your audience know who you are.
In order to build a relationship with someone, you need to know who they are. The same holds true for your prospects. So be real. Tell your story. Share your experiences. The more real you are, the more your audience will resonate with you.
Another great way companies do this is by giving their audience a behind-the-scenes look inside your company.
In a recent blog article, I talked about how our team incorporates SNAPs into our weekly meetings. So, we decided to record an actual team meeting and post it online to show others how to integrate something similar with their team. We received so much positive response and praise from viewers. First, it gave them the opportunity to feel more aligned with us, and our company values.
Second, they appreciated that we practiced what we preached, which leads me right into #2 …
2. Practice what you preach.
This is one of my favorites, because it’s one of our core values here at Business Nitrogen. It’s darn near impossible to align or even resonate with a company that doesn’t even “buy in” to what they are promoting or communicating. I already gave you an example of this above. Another great example can be found in a short article a colleague shared with me. It’s worth a quick read: GANDHI STORY
3. Do what you say you’re going to do.
With the rise of online reviews and social media as trusted recommendation sources, more than ever you better ensure you’re honoring your promises to customers. You’d be surprised how many companies fall short in this area. Just by clearly communicating your promises AND honoring them puts you in a higher bracket, which in turns gives you an automatic competitive advantage.
4. Be congruent and consistent.
This begins with the first touch point your prospect sees (whether that be an ad or a video, etc.). Your messaging should not only be crystal clear, it should be consistent across the board on every medium and marketing vehicle you utilize.
Start reviewing your website, your social pages, your ads, everything! Ensure your message and communication is consistent and congruent. But not only that, make sure it’s genuine and in complete alignment with your core values, your brand principles, and your promises.
All it takes is one inconsistency and a seed of doubt is planted in your prospect’s mind. Doubt breeds dis-trust.
Keep in mind this doesn’t just apply to touchpoints your prospect or customer sees … It also applies to their experience. Maybe your messaging is 100% dialed in, but your customer service team isn’t.
Bottom line: Ensure everyone on your team (on every level) is communicating the same messaging you are displaying and promising.
There’s no doubt that transparency and authenticity together are a significant driving force when it comes to growing and scaling any company.
When trust and loyalty are achieved, growth naturally follows. Customers make repeat purchases, or leave a great review, or refer friends and family.
When in doubt, just think of some of the brands you are loyal to and refer to others. What do they do to earn your trust?
To your success,