Transparency Is The New Black

With knowledge being the currency of the future, and unbiased information more accessible than ever before, it’s not surprising to see that brands are embracing simplicity and transparency as pillars of their product, messaging, and marketing strategies. A notable shift from pre-digital strategies, where information was often obfuscated and protected, changing consumer sentiment is driving this change – and products are getting better.

Amazon Elements and Target Made to Matter are two great examples of this new approach. At their core, both focus on a fundamental understanding that consumers want to know what they are buying ... from the raw ingredients that go into the products and packaging to the overall environmental impact of the manufacturing and logistics processes. And because openness was embraced from the start, both deliver innovative ways for consumers to interact with that information – including full-featured online product specs as well as scannable product codes that deliver detailed package-level information. Beyond product content, both companies have also incorporated consumer feedback into the product development process, highlighting the importance of a more collaborative, inclusive brand experience. 



Carl’s Jr. and McDonald’s have also jumped on the bandwagon. While Carl’s Jr. is starting with product and messaging, McDonald’s has chosen to focus on marketing and feedback. Regardless of their sequencing, however, both have recognized the value of simplicity and transparency to their ultimate success, and are investing accordingly.

Lastly,, a new venture from Marc Lore, the former founder of, promises unprecedented visibility and transparency into the shopping process. In fact, that knowledge is the basis for the company ... the belief being that a more informed and educated consumer will be more loyal. 

So as marketers, what can we take away from these examples? It’s really not rocket science, but it is a change from tradition. With changing consumer sentiment and the democratization of information we’ve got to embrace a more inclusive brand experience. One where we forgo the urge to “control” and “manage” and instead embrace “collaboration” and “dialog.” By doing so, we will regain authenticity, and our brand value will flourish.

2 comments about "Transparency Is The New Black".
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  1. Caitlin Byrne from Katana Connect, January 8, 2015 at 1:37 p.m.

    Thanks for a great read! We live in a world where the vast majority of us have information at our finger tips, and the best thing brands can do is acknowledge this and assist in facilitating the information to consumers - which in consumers' eyes is portrayed as brands being trasparent. These days you cannot hide behind a poorly designed product or harmful ingredients due to the multitude of social platforms that are in existence alongside the availability of information. Consumers are quick to spread the word about a poor experience, and other consumers are quick to listen and use this to guide their decision making. I think the smartest thing that brands can do moving forward is listen to their consumers. Listening involves taking into account what consumers want and why they want it every step of the way. Taking the time to listen and also engage with consumers, in my opinion, is the key to driving loyalty, building relationships, and maintaining trust.

  2. John Duon from CJREM, January 30, 2015 at 6:29 p.m.

    I believe all industries needs to be disrupted now and again. Each disruption has provided new tools and cost savings to consumers in one fashion or another. We don't always get to participate in these interventions. I am happy to be able to with Jet. Since Jet is proclaiming they are going to save consumers' money, I sign up to see what the big deal was about. I love savings money. Who doesn't? Check it out yourself click on this link before 2/6/15 deadline to get a free 6 month membership.

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