As a business owner, you might feel like caution is necessary and you would be right. There are times when you have to be careful—when you're hiring employees, when you turn over your books to an accountant, when you come up with a new product with unique features etc. You do need to protect yourself and your company to make sure that you're not cheated or embezzled. You don't want to have your trade secrets stolen. At the same time, you can't take this caution too far and withhold information from your customers
What Do Customers Want to Know?
At this point in time, most customers are looking for authenticity and transparency in a business. They want to know how you make your products, what ingredients you use, what type of testing you do etc. They want to know as much as possible about your business practices.
How Much Should You Reveal?
You don't have to reveal everything to everyone. However, it's a good idea to try and be as transparent as possible about issues that customers might be concerned about. You probably have some idea as to what these issues are. They depend on what field you're in.
Example 1: The Body Shop
The Body Shop is a good example of a brand that invokes the idea of transparency. On their website, they say, "Forever against animal testing." For The Body Shop, being against animal testing is a part of their brand and it's in their best interests to proclaim this loudly on their website.
Example 2: Chipotle
The same goes for Chipotle which uses "vegetables grown in healthy soil" and "pigs allowed to freely root and roam outdoors or in deeply bedded barns." Chipotle is trying to feed its customers healthier food. So obviously they're going to be transparent about it.
What if You're Still Switching to Better Business Practices?
What if you are in an industry similar to Chipotle but haven't switched over to healthier practices yet, although you would like to do so? It still helps to be transparent about it. For example, in 2013, Chipotle "made headlines for becoming the first national restaurant to voluntarily disclose the presence of GMOs in our food." And two years later, in 2015, they switched to serving food without GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
How Transparency Works in Your Favor
As you can see, the folks at Chipotle were transparent about their practices and what they were trying to do, even though they had not done it entirely. It seems that this transparency worked in their favor and they're doing even better than before. So it helps to be transparent even if your business practices might not be at the exact place where you want them to be.
Contact us to learn more about the benefits of authenticity and transparency in your company.
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