Building Consumer’s Trust in the Age of Transparency
These days, trust is the most important currency. If consumers know they can trust a manufacturer or retailer they’re likely to give you their brand loyalty and buy more of your products. After all, most people don’t want to invest a lot of their lives into reconsidering which macaroni or breakfast cereal to buy every time they go to the store, they’d much rather find a brand they trust and stick with it.
Consumers Don’t Like Tricks
It used to be that manufacturers could just put words like “environmentally friendly” on their packages without having to explain exactly what that meant. It was a marketing ploy that often lacked any sort of factual evidence. But with organizations like foodbabe.com and foodintegrity.org, consumers can now discover all kinds of things about the food and the companies they buy from.
They can learn about everything from genetically modified ingredients to what chemicals, additives, fillers and substitutes manufacturers have included. They can find out whether eggs came from cage-free chickens and meat and dairy products include hormones. They can even find out what farmers are feeding the animals the products come from.
Manufacturers Build Trust Too
So leading edge manufacturers are realizing that if they want to appeal to consumers who are concerned about the contents of their food, they need to be transparent. And that consumer population is growing, as pointed out in a USAToday article noting that many companies are switching their ingredients from chemicals. Nestle USA, for example, removed artificial flavors and colors from more than 250 chocolate products in 2016.
Some manufacturers and retailers have signed on with SmartLabel.com, an app that lets consumers quickly scan a QR code and quickly see all the information that can be so difficult to read on a package.
Whatever approach you use, the point is that consumers now have a lot more information about how you’re operating so the best tactic is to operate in a way that earns their trust. They’re more likely to stick with you and more likely to recommend you to their friends and neighbors.
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