As we wrap up our series of archive posts in honor of our 25th anniversary, we’re excited to share with you one of our all-time favorite posts from Get There. Social media has grown explosively since this post was written back in 2010, but its message about the Internet’s impact on brand transparency is more relevant now than ever before.
Internet access provides consumers with endless amounts of information at their fingertips. To put this in perspective, let’s compare our process of collecting information today to that of 15 years ago. Imagine a grade school student in the mid-90s. If this student needed information, they would probably start out by asking their parents or another family member. If that proved insufficient, the next stop would an encyclopedia or perhaps a trip to local library.
Now compare that to today. You want to know how to tie a knot, research cancer, read a book review, etc. — it’s all a search and a click away. And since this information has become available, we have become much smarter consumers. We care more about what’s in our food, what effect our actions have on the environment and so on. If a brand is unethical in any way, we are going to hear about it and hear about it fast. It’s the new word-of-mouth and it’s much more accessible and viral.
This is why brand transparency has become increasingly important. Brands can’t hide behind walls and tell us who they are. We decide who they are by how they act and the quality of their product. Our purchasing decisions will be made with more information at hand. To succeed brands will have to be open and part of the discussion so that consumers are aware of the value their brand has on issues we care about.
We’ve always been social, we just have the technology now to easily connect with others on a massive scale. Word-of mouth has never traveled so fast. Brands need to remember that with every decision they make.
Featured image via: ZD Net