Behind the Curtain

The Benefits of Business Transparency

Business transparency. This is often scary for an owner. Who wants to let the customers see behind the curtain? But as a customer of, say, a bakery, wouldn’t you like to see that the kitchen is clean and sanitary?

Why is it different for any other type of business? There are benefits to letting customers see how things work and being part of the process. Not only does it give them more trust in your business, it also shows you are genuine and care about your customers and how they will use your products.

Just asking for customer input and then regurgitating it back to your team in the form of “Mrs. Smith said she loves our store” isn’t believable — or actionable. If you solicit customer feedback in the right context you can get more meaningful results, and make more useful improvements as a result. Just take Ivivva for example. The brand provides business transparency by collecting real time product feedback for all to see and provide commentary on.

Athletic apparel company Ten Thousand is allowing customers to field test their new endurance shorts. People can purchase the shorts at a discount and then provide input to the company as they refine and prepare to launch this product to a larger universe. What an innovative way to bring customers into the process, while also helping to finance product development.

And lastly, one of our favorites that really takes this to extremes is Ministry of Supply CEO running a half-marathon in one their suits. A super-clever way to test the product and get real-time feedback (and some great PR). That’s one way to run with it!