5. Transparency - #TheRealDeal
In the oversaturated world we live in, with the constant inundation of information and rampant fake news, it’s hard to find the truth in it all. Consumers are clamoring to attain authentic information and are basing their purchase decisions on how transparent a company is with respect to ideation, sourcing, production, ethics and communication. In addition to animal welfare standards, trade certification and sustainable production, GMO transparency is top-of-mind for most consumers. Online retailer, Everlane, prides themselves on their “radical transparency” objective. The company’s exceptional quality products are bolstered by their commitment to ethical factory production and reasonable price points. Brands are increasingly encouraging consumers to become involved in vocalizing their brand experiences as well as connecting them to other peers to create a more trustworthy and relatable relationship, like AirBnb’s peer review policy. Open communication leads to stronger trust, brand resonance and overall loyalty longevity. In 2018, we predict the importance of transparency to increase twofold as it not only enables consistent and open communication but also encourages ethical practices, empowering brands to champion social good. In a "post-truth world", it’s time for the real deal.