Transparency Becomes Key Factor in Market Appeal

Consumers of the world have become more selective about the products they buy. The days of ‘cheap and cheerful’ are all but gone. Consumers are far more socially-minded than they’ve ever been.

They are understanding more than ever that the buying choices they make do have an impact. The mentality of each person doing their part has taken over.

The movement began with the environment. When global warming became a hot topic, people threw up their hands and said there was nothing they could do as individuals. Aggressive marketing and campaigning convinced them otherwise.

They began to see what their choices and habits could do to help protect the earth. A spirit of community and togetherness was created around each person being responsible for their actions. People shared their knowledge with others, and a ripple effect began.

Consumerism has moved beyond environmental friendliness.  People have become more selective about what they buy based on its impact on the environment. Most are prepared to pay a few extra cents to buy products that are less harmful to the planet. Now, it’s going a few steps further.

What consumers want

1. Corporate consciousness

One of the things consumers pay attention to when making a purchase is the company who made it. They want to know about the organization and its background.

They want to know what the vision and mission of the company is. It’s essential that they understand how the company came into being.

Think of how many brands that are no longer advertising their products based on price. The trend is now to tell the viewer a story about how the company was established.

The reason behind this changed marketing approach is easy. Advertisers are giving customers what they want.

Companies that tell a credible story will attract the attention of the mainstream consumer. Let’s face it, and the mainstream consumer is who they want to reach because they’re the majority.

2. Responsibility to the world around them

The next thing consumers want to know is the company’s stance on corporate and social responsibility. It attracts them to a brand when they see the organization putting time, money, and resources back into the community.

They want to look at the company’s efforts go beyond the immediate community. They want to see corporations reaching out to all manner of social and environmental causes. Seeing this makes consumers see the companies less as money-making entities.

It shows the human side of an organization. People are more likely to spend their money when they know a portion of it is going to help the world around them. The impact corporations around the world concern consumers have on the poor and disenfranchised.

They feel that they’re doing their part for the world when the organization they buy from uses some of their revenue for the upliftment of others.

People also want to see jobs created by the corporations they support. It shows the organization’s commitment to building a sustainable impact on the communities that surround it.

Companies that offer their employees educational opportunities show that they are interested in the future of their employees. They view them not as commodities, but rather as human capital. This is appealing to consumers.

3. Transparency from the organization

Consumers want to buy products from companies that don’t hide behind closed doors without sharing information.

They want to know about the labor practices of organizations. People lose loyalty when it emerges that an organization uses sweatshops to produce their goods. Customers become concerned when they hear that workers make the products in the most deplorable conditions.

They are forced to work long hours and paid very low wages. Consumers who catch wind of this will be outraged. It’s likely they’ll stop buying the products. Going one step further, they may turn to social media to inform everyone they know.

A company can go under because of a story like that. Even if labor is outsourced, consumers want to know that workers are treated with fairness and dignity.

Where appropriate, consumers want to know about animal testing of products. Many people feel that testing products on animals in a laboratory is an act of cruelty. They will make sure they do not associate themselves with organizations that harm animals as part of their manufacturing process. This is another issue that consumers will quickly take to social media platforms to air their outrage.

How companies convert this approach into revenue

The way companies market themselves is important. They need to weave a tale that captures their customer’s attention. It should be a story about their altruism and humanity. It must speak to the organization having a higher purpose.

That being said, it must be an authentic and true story. People will check out the story a company tells in its marketing campaign. A company that spreads a fake story will find themselves at the receiving end of the ire of angry consumers. This will cause it more harm than good.

A good campaign that resonates with consumers will gain an organization the favor of its customers. It can be the difference between being a market leader or a market follower.

Companies that want to be a step ahead can use their vision and mission as a way of gaining some advantage. Up to 70% of American consumers said they want companies, corporations, and producers to be more transparent.

What is the ultimate effect?

A good marketing campaign can give a corporation nothing else can: goodwill currency. This is a standing in the market where they have gained the respect and loyalty of their customers. Price will increasingly play less of a role in a customer’s decision to buy products from the organization.

The steps for creating a profile that is based on goodwill currency takes some creative thinking on the part of the company and its marketing team. People tire of the same old story being retold in different ways.

Mirroring what another company has done is not enough. A fresh approach that gives consumers what they want will ensure the organization a stronghold on the market.

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