How transparency through influencers can be the future of brand communication

Shuchi Sethi, Business Head at AnyTag, shares how brands can embrace transparency in their identity and messaging by collaborating with the right influencers who share similar values

BuzzInContent Bureau
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Brand transparency implies openness, communication, and accountability. When a brand is transparent, it provides information about its objectives, values, costs, operations, business impact on the environment, etc. One way for brands to embrace and develop transparency in their identity and messaging is to collaborate with the right influencers who share the same values.

Influencers have prompted a shift in the discussion since millennials and Gen Z have become more outspoken in their support for more lucidity. Brands need to bring a more focused voice to their messaging to communicate effectively and achieve massive success. Influencers with similar perspectives are more inclined to endorse a brand and be open and upfront about its offerings, boosting its reputation among consumers. These genuine collaborations with influencers foster transparency from brand to influencers to consumers.

Why does brand transparency matter? 

The Covid pandemic affected all aspects of life, including influencer marketing. When Covid curtailed travel and events got cancelled, consumers sought more authenticity from influencers. It posed the question of the need for brand transparency and genuine influencer collaborations. According to a study, 94% of consumers would be loyal to a brand that is transparent in its operations. 

Believability and transparency go hand-in-hand: Understanding the relationship between transparency and authenticity is essential. Today, social media can spot partnerships that aren't genuine or credible. To be open, brands can display their policies and values on their company website, disclose the ingredients list, ethical and environmental practices, and so on. This can help send across the brand messaging and build trust among consumers. 

For example, Lush, a skincare brand that offers organic, handmade and cruelty-free beauty products, is one of the most successful digital beauty brands, mostly driven by social media and highly sought-after organic, user-generated content. Lush strives for authenticity in its offerings. 

Consumers look for transparent communication: While one-way, top-down communication (TV, radio, etc.) has long been the norm, social media has altered the equation by letting consumers speak up their own mind. Since mass communication is ineffective, businesses have begun collaborating with niche influencers to communicate through personalised messages. On social media, user-generated content (UGC) can garner more engagement than other forms of advertising. Consumers are increasingly demanding quality information. Thus, this trend toward enhanced transparent communication meets strong expectations. 

Gen Z is driving the trend: When it comes to purchasing, millennials value experiences, relevance, and products that make them feel good. In comparison, Generation Z expects brands to be inclusive, diversified, socially, and ecologically concerned. To them, brand transparency encompasses all of these characteristics. A brand can only be genuinely transparent once it addresses these concerns. They prefer content from genuine influencers with whom they can relate. They prefer user reviews and word-of-mouth over brand advertisements. This generation longs to engage with human-centric brands rather than impersonal businesses. The brands’ ethos serves as the foundation for subsequent generations.

Staying ahead of the curve

A brand is not a person but an image of its founders, employees, and customers who invest in its products. Humanising a brand to amplify the true experiences is more important than ever. As ambition gives way to reality and authenticity reigns supremacy, brands need to adapt to the cultural environment in which they do business. Transparency is an important way to maintain a favourable relationship with consumers. 

With advancements in monitoring technology, it is easier for brands to take control of their end-to-end operations and take the first step toward improving consumer transparency. They can be more upfront about their products and how they are manufactured, highlight the most prominent features of their products and services, and establish trust and loyalty within their customer base, resulting in greater sales and a healthier bottom line.

influencers influencer marketing Covid-19 brand trust audience