In today's world in which most consumers think brands lie to them all the time, the latest 'ROI of Transparency' report from brand development agency Pure Branding confirms that a company's level of transparency can directly and positively impact its sales. This article is copyright 2019 The Best Customer Guide.

The report examined feedback from more than 1,000 Americans about their attitudes, perceptions and sentiment on corporate transparency, and transparency among the brands they purchase within the clothing and apparel, dietary supplements, food and beverage and personal care industries.

"Based on survey responses and analysis, it is clear that being perceived as transparent adds to a company's brand value. However, a company perceived as not transparent risks negative consequences," said Yadim Medore, founder and CEO, Pure Branding. "No longer is it the case that transparency is a plus, and its absence merely a missed opportunity. Today, being perceived as non-transparent is actively damaging to a brand's reputation, and a company's bottom line. If company leadership doesn't have a transparency strategy, they'll fall victim to competitors who do."

Among the report's key findings:

  • The sector with the lowest perceived level of transparency was, perhaps not surprisingly, government, with only 5% of respondents perceiving Congress as "transparent".
  • On the flip side, personal care companies, food and beverage companies and technology companies are most likely to be perceived as transparent.
  • 65% of respondents believe that most brands lie at least some of the time.
  • 54% believe the brands they currently purchase are not always honest.
  • 82% of respondents will forgive a brand that admits to mistakes.

More than a quarter (26%) of respondents believe that a transparent company openly engages with its public via social media and does not shy away from negative comments. And a significant contingent of Millennials (29%), as well as Gen Xers (28%), believe a transparent company should openly engage with negative comments on social media.

But is transparency the best way?
With 73% of study participants saying that transparency is valuable to them, a majority of consumers indicated that they were either more likely or very likely to pay extra for products from more transparent companies.

"All too often we meet marketing, sales, operations, human resources and legal professionals who are tasked with making their company more transparent, but they don't know where to start," continued Medore. "This report provides the insights needed to convince key stakeholders about the advantages of transparent practices, while giving company executives the information they need to prioritize the decision-making process."