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The Trust Economy: Why Transparency and Purpose are Brands' Biggest Assets

Trust spelled out on dice

Gone are the days when all a brand needed to do was have the best product or offer the best service. In today’s economy, consumers expect more. Welcome to the “Trust Economy” where transparency and purpose have become the keys to consumer loyalty and brand success. 

What does this mean for you? Well, people are getting more selective about where they spend their money. More and more consumers are aligning their spending with their values. They are looking for brands that not only offer quality and value, but also those who are doing their part in making lives better. According to insights from both the World Economic Forum and Amazon Ad’s Higher Impact study (among others), a significant percentage of consumers now prefer brands who are transparent about their business practices and actively contribute to making society and the environment better.  Here are some areas that matter:

Being green: It’s not just a color, it’s a movement. Data suggests that a growing number of global consumers are willing to pay a premium for products that are sustainably produced, especially members of Gen Z and Millennials. Look at the increase in “green” products in the beauty industry, or how many hotels and residential buildings are now focusing on building sustainably or the importance of WELL certification. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI): There is a lot of controversy surrounding DEI at the moment, with many colleges and universities reducing or fully eliminating their departments and unfortunately, many brands are also following suit. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s not important to consumers. With an ever-evolving and increasingly diverse cultural society, consumers are expecting brands to stand strong in their values of diversity and inclusion. They don’t want to support a brand that is just ticking a box, but instead brands that make a genuine commitment.

Authenticity: The buzz word of buzz words, but it’s “buzzy” because it’s true. The whole theme of brand purpose falls apart if it’s not done in a way that is authentic to your brand and values. As the saying goes “the proof is in the pudding” so don’t just put out some “marketing-speak” to gain some eyeballs, but actually stand behind the causes that align with you and your brand.

In order for brands to succeed in our Trust Economy, you have to be authentic and lean in to your values. You must embrace purpose as a key component of your brand strategy and be sure to back up what you say. The brands that thrive are those that understand that trust is their most valuable asset.


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