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Is ‘transparency’ the new ‘Trust’?

Posted by Gellan Watt on 28th October 2013

No.

But in the world we live in it’s important. One could argue, in fact, it’s a hygiene factor. News spreads faster today than ever. Gossip even faster. Businesses cannot control information anymore. There’s nowhere to hide. So transparency is almost a necessity.

Transparency is. Telling people what you’re doing. Being open. Not being honest. And not being customer centric. At least not necessarily. It’s not a position. It’s an angle. A way in for brands to create something more important… Trust.

Trust is the reason one brand is chosen over another. Trust is the reason you buy a product without ever testing it. How many people touched an iPhone 5 before they ordered? VERY few. Trust is the reason when you get it wrong, you get forgiven.

There’s no emotion in transparency. There’s gold in trust.

Many a utility brand is transparent. And people don’t trust them. I don’t care if John Lewis is transparent. I just trust them to do the right thing.

Transparency is key. But for brands to grow and prosper trust is EVERYTHING. Transparency is an action. Trust is a powerful connection that makes the foundation for years of success.

Neither should be neglected. But any band that confuses transparency for trust is one that’s not as powerful as it thinks.

Trust wins. But it’s way more expensive to achieve than transparency. It’s no surprise then that more brands are trying to be more transparent to earn greater trust, and completely missing the point.

You earn trust. Trust is given. Rewarded for years of doing the right thing, acting the right way and wowing customers.

Aiming to be the most trusted in a space, rather than the most transparent… Now THAT is smart. But you need big teeth to achieve it. Trust can’t be a target alone. Doing the right thing has to be in your DNA. Trust comes from the long haul.

The best way to earn it…? Be brilliant. Not in your opinion. In your customers’.

Tags: Brand Strategy, Customer Experience, Transparency, Trust

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