Transparency: Key to winning consumer confidence
Transparency has a different definition in the game of engagement! However, for a common consumer, it means knowing not only about the ingredients that go into a product, but also the impact (social, environmental, health) of the product they are buying. Today, the brands need to realise that transparency is not merely about a list of ingredients. Today, consumers want to know more about the corporate values espoused by the companies that make these products, including policies on social, environmental, health, and safety issues.
In order to empower the Indian consumers to fight the alarming menace of lifestyle diseases, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched the ‘Eat Right Movement’ in July last year. While the aim of the movement was to usher in healthier food culture in the country, by nudging the consumers to eat healthily, the onus was laid on the consumer-facing businesses to strategically lower the amount of salt, sugar and trans-fat in their products.
Companies across the spectrum pledged their support to this movement, making efforts to not only educate and ensure the wellness of their consumers but also their employees. According to Deloitte’s Health & Progress Report 2019, all of the companies surveyed had activated programmes to provide transparent, fact-based information, and 76% of companies reported they had altered marketing practices to implement responsible marketing. Moreover, the participation of employees in the health and wellness initiatives finally exceeded the 2 million mark last year, a 78% improvement over the year before last.
Around the world, we have noticed that consumers increasingly favour products made in accordance with principles of sustainability, and additionally, they want the brands they are transacting with, to be transparent with them. The findings of Honest Product, a study commissioned by the Consumer Goods Forum in collaboration with Futerra revealed some significant gaps in the way consumers and producers think about the choices made in grocery or drug stores – while 55% of consumers want more information on corporate values, 86% of business leaders believe they are already providing enough.
In an era when public trust in business is relatively low and is distracted by technology to a certain extent, traditional keys to success such as taste, health, price, and convenience can be augmented by strong company values in areas such as supply chain sustainability, social purpose, and honest product communication. In the recent past, we have seen that many new entrants have found success through building loyalty by choosing ‘radical transparency’ over traditional branding tactics.
This article is written by Anil Talreja, Partner, Deloitte India