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“Not just transparent, but naked and proud ;-)”
So what’s next for the mega-trend of transparency? Brands must move from ‘having nothing to hide’, to pro-actively showing and proving they have nothing to hide, and go beyond uttering lofty statements on 'values' or 'culture' to real, unambiguous and clear evidence, or statements about actual results.
No, not all consumers will be this demanding, but as total transparency becomes a hygiene factor, even those that aren’t will expect brands to prove their ethical and environmental credentials to those that do care.
While the bulk of the examples below might be food-related, the takeaway is clear... Only brands that have the utmost confidence in their product (and themselves) will be able to go FULL FRONTAL*.
If you’re wondering what will your customers say if you go FULL FRONTAL, the real question for 2013 will be what they will think if you don’t?
* For those that find this scary, then re-reading our FLAWSOME Trend Briefing should help convince you that it won’t be the end of the world if things aren’t perfect. It’s the intent that matters.
September 2012 saw McDonald’s begin publishing calorie information on all its restaurant menus and drive-thru windows in the US, while the company also began promoting its ‘Favorites Under 400 Calories’ menu, which includes lighter dishes such as the Filet-O-Fish sandwich and the Egg McMuffin.
Eco-friendly Brazilian cosmetics brand Natura provides a comprehensive list of all of its socio-environmental targets in its annual report. End of last year, targets such as water consumption, employee training time and reducing solid waste were labeled as ‘Not Achieved’, and followed by an adjusted target for 2012.
Mindful of Chinese consumers’ concerns over food safetly, organic farm Yi Mu Tian uses digital food tracking system. The high-tech farm, which uses computers for temperature regulation, lighting and watering, operates a Traceability Code System that allows consumers to track any food item back to the field in which it was grown. Customers can also track the growth of vegetables by camera. As of October 2012, the farm had fulfilled home delivery orders to over 60,000 families in Shanghai.
In September 2012, Japanese restaurant Kimitachi opened a franchise in Curitiba, Brazil after a successful pilot in Florianópolis. Customers ordering takeout can follow their food preparation via a video system installed in the restaurant’s kitchen. Kimitachi created the system to “humanize sushi delivery” and give consumers more transparency on the dish preparation.