Transparency as a key marketing strategy
Since the pandemic, sustainability has been an important topic that continues to resonate with brands. In a recent survey, searches for sustainable products on the fashion platform Lyst increased 76% from October 2019 to April 2020. The industry is responding, and last week Gucci launched on resale site The RealReal with the promise to plant a tree for every item bought. Amazon, too, has started labelling products with climate-friendly standards.
In our previous post blog, we tackled a few useful strategies to make your small fashion brand more sustainable. As brands struggle with effectively communicating these initiatives, transparency becomes a key strategy to build a more engaging and consumer-based approach.
Becoming more personal
Boosting authenticity and letting your customers in is essential to show your business's human side and to give a better understanding of your brand. As fashion is all about belonging, and consumers are increasingly wanting to know who they are buying from, openly communicating your brand's sustainable standard, supply chain, and who you work with is essential to building long-term trust and increasing sales.
This will be key in the long run, as it will foster greater consumer loyalty. As long as your business acts on its promises, there will be nothing to hide – and therefore, nothing to lose.
Embracing the storytelling path
Telling the story behind your product can be a smart way of showing transparency to your customers. People tend to buy emotions, so creating a narrative that communicates the production process and even the story of who made their clothes adds a human side to the product – something that consumers will value the most in the post-pandemic scenario.
Letting your consumer connect on an emotional level with your brand can be a great way to build loyalty and trust. Integrating QR codes or NFC tags containing this information into items should allow for a more digital experience and create engagement.
There’s a lot that goes into ‘transparency’. Though many labels focus on promises of long-term improvements, some are now starting to admit where they still have work to do. Shifting towards a 'we're not perfect' strategy should allow an even more honest and human-centric approach. Since many companies have fallen into the greenwashing trap, such as H&M, initiatives that acknowledge imperfection will resonate with consumers.
The bottom line is that people want to trust the companies they buy from, especially now that consumers have more information to make conscious choices. Managing expectations and being humble can avoid a backlash as consumers are now seeing through gimmicky campaigns.
Exploring new channels
Finding ways to communicate transparency is essential to target the right audience. Picking the channel carefully to engage customers with a sustainable purpose is critical to create a more in-depth connection and increase loyalty.