How Transparency and Brand Authenticity Helps Earn Your Consumer’s Trust
Today’s consumer is more discerning than ever. They’re no longer quick to take brand claims at face value and are asking companies to prove themselves first before they can gain their trust (and hard-earned income). And while this is true of consumers in every industry, parents are especially careful with what products they choose for their children to consume.
As kids are particularly vulnerable to things found in many widely-available products like harmful chemicals, unhealthy ingredients, etc., kids’ brands are under pressure to be more authentic and transparent with their consumers. “[As a parent, I know that] you need full awareness of what you’re actually putting on your children,” said Stine Smith, founder of boutique kids’ wear brand Roots & Wings Merino, on a recent call. “We’re already so conscious of what we put into their bodies. [So when it comes to] what you put on their skin, having that sense of certainty is really important.”
Roots & Wings offers a range of luxurious organic merino garments for babies and young children. Every piece is made from the finest quality New Zealand merino wool and is worked on by highly skilled artisans. A Danish expat living in New Zealand herself, Stine infuses her designs with what she calls the, “typical Danish focus on form and function and quality detail.” But what attracts her loyal consumer-base most is her direct and sincere approach. From keeping an ongoing conversation with her shoppers to letting them know exactly how each garment is made, Stine proves that she understands the importance of brand authenticity better than most.
Consumers value transparency over everything else…
As anyone in the retail industry should know, you just can’t build a consumer base without trust. In fact, in a study conducted by Label Insight, 94 percent of consumers claimed that they would be more loyal to a brand if they promoted complete brand transparency. “Transparency has positive implications for brands — fostering product loyalty, brand loyalty, and increasing the product’s worth in a consumer’s mind,” wrote the authors.
We can’t say this enough: we live in an age where consumers are more concerned about what’s in the products they purchase than ever before. Brands who provide the information they so desperately seek (and are happy to go elsewhere to find) will do well in a retail climate where actions now speak much louder than words.
“You never actually know what sort of thinking goes behind [big brands’ products],” Stine remarked. “Good branding can lead [the consumer] to believe one thing but if you dig deep, you may find that the brand isn’t really what they claim to be. I see this as a great opportunity. I just really want to [show my consumers] that there’s no hidden agenda – all I want to do is make the greatest product.”
…and to them, a great product means even greater authenticity.
Making the “greatest product” doesn’t just come down to how pretty or soft it is. While we know the majority of consumers today look for brands with total transparency, a recent survey shows that 56 percent of respondents also said that additional product information inspires more trust in a given brand. Furthermore, 39 percent of those said they would switch to a new brand in the pursuit of product transparency, proving that if they don’t deem you trustworthy, they’ll simply go elsewhere.
This is especially alarming news considering that millennials (in this case millennial parents) are far less likely to remain loyal to a brand than their predecessors were. For millennial parents, giving them what they want should not only be a priority, but seen as a win/win for both brand and customer. After all, the same study shows that a staggering 86 percent of millennial moms said they would pay more for a product with full transparency.
“I needed transparency to be able to tell my story and make it clear that I’m not a big brand trying to lead anyone on with fancy words that aren’t true,” explained Stine when we asked why creating a truly authentic brand was such a no-brainer. “I wanted to have something that I was proud and that I could fully back.”
With a product made from 100 percent organic and responsibly sourced wool, and a supply chain in which Stine is involved every step of the way, she is confident that Roots & Wings Merino more than delivers on each and every promise.
Can you say the same for your own brand?
Follow her at @D_isforDayana
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