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2640 Lyndale Ave. South | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408 | T +1 612 279 1400 | www.zeusjones.com
Modern Brand Transparency
Transparency.
Transparency is a frequently discussed, and often overused, term in the business
world.
The majority of brand transparency efforts focus on
communication.
After researching a large sample of companies who value transparency, we
discovered there are three levels - each with a d...
INTERNAL
CULTURE
BRAND
INTERNAL/EXTERNAL
ACTIONS
Manufacturing Processes
Key People
Practices (e.g. Sustainability)
Future...
Crowdsourced Ideas
APIs / Patents
Business Collaborations
Spark Discussions/Debates
Adoption: Medium
Difficulty: Medium
Le...
INTERNAL
CULTURETransparency is a cultural
imperative of the company
and all actions are taken with
openness in mind.
Adop...
Examples of this model in
action.
Manufacturing Processes
Key People
Practices (e.g. Sustainability)
Future Initiatives
Etc.
Adoption: High
Difficulty: Easy...
The footprint chronicles launched a host of copy cats
and a new view of how transparent a company can be.
Patagonia is fam...
Fashion supply chains are a deeply guarded secret until
an ex-Hugo Boss art director (Bruno Pieters) decided to
turn the t...
Due to people’s heightened desires to understand what
they’re eating, food has become a lightening rod for
transparency.
F...
Crowdsourced Ideas
APIs / Patents
Business Collaborations
Spark Discussions/Debates
Adoption: Medium
Difficulty: Medium
Le...
Tesla made news when they released their patents to the
world.
Elon Musk is famous for making statements that explain
why ...
For many years their practices were under intense
scrutiny until they decided to be proactive in their
approach and change...
GE started the Open Innovation initiative and Toyota
started The Collaborative Safety Research Center to
connect their bus...
Transparency is a cultural
imperative of the company
and all actions are taken with
openness in mind.
Adoption: Low
Diffic...
At 600 people strong, actions like - all company emails
for meetings involving more than two people, giving
everyone a sta...
By uniting employees to a clear set of values they have
empowered them to truly make connections with people
in a way that...
• Which of your brand’s actions are the easiest to make transparent? Which are the hardest?
• Which of your business probl...
Thank You
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Why brand transparency still matters

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What was once an objective on every key brand strategy document has become an overused, and at times, a meaningless phrase. Almost like an involuntary reflex, communication became — and continues to be — the most popular tool for showcasing brand transparency. This deck explores a model for thinking about transparency in a modern world.

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Why brand transparency still matters

  1. 1. 2640 Lyndale Ave. South | Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408 | T +1 612 279 1400 | www.zeusjones.com Modern Brand Transparency
  2. 2. Transparency. Transparency is a frequently discussed, and often overused, term in the business world.
  3. 3. The majority of brand transparency efforts focus on communication.
  4. 4. After researching a large sample of companies who value transparency, we discovered there are three levels - each with a different degree of difficulty and adoption. This is only one way in.
  5. 5. INTERNAL CULTURE BRAND INTERNAL/EXTERNAL ACTIONS Manufacturing Processes Key People Practices (e.g. Sustainability) Future Initiatives Etc. Adoption: High Difficulty: Easy Level I: Expose Actions BUSINESS/GREATER COMMUNITY CONSUMER COMMUNITY
  6. 6. Crowdsourced Ideas APIs / Patents Business Collaborations Spark Discussions/Debates Adoption: Medium Difficulty: Medium Level II: Invite Actions INTERNAL CULTURE INTERNAL/EXTERNAL ACTIONS BRAND BUSINESS/GREATER COMMUNITY CONSUMER COMMUNITY
  7. 7. INTERNAL CULTURETransparency is a cultural imperative of the company and all actions are taken with openness in mind. Adoption: Low Difficulty: Hard Level III: Empower Actions INTERNAL/EXTERNAL ACTIONS BRAND BUSINESS/GREATER COMMUNITY CONSUMER COMMUNITY
  8. 8. Examples of this model in action.
  9. 9. Manufacturing Processes Key People Practices (e.g. Sustainability) Future Initiatives Etc. Adoption: High Difficulty: Easy Level I: Expose Actions
  10. 10. The footprint chronicles launched a host of copy cats and a new view of how transparent a company can be. Patagonia is famous for exposing their supply chain.
  11. 11. Fashion supply chains are a deeply guarded secret until an ex-Hugo Boss art director (Bruno Pieters) decided to turn the tables and expose everything. He says it was the failure of heritage brands – Chanel, Versace and other "bling" labels you often see faked on eBay – to live up to their reputation that led to his interest in ethical fashion. http://www.honestby.com Honest by has taken exposing their actions to the ultimate level.
  12. 12. Due to people’s heightened desires to understand what they’re eating, food has become a lightening rod for transparency. Food brands are one of the largest categories exposing their actions.
  13. 13. Crowdsourced Ideas APIs / Patents Business Collaborations Spark Discussions/Debates Adoption: Medium Difficulty: Medium Level II: Invite Actions
  14. 14. Tesla made news when they released their patents to the world. Elon Musk is famous for making statements that explain why this is a required action, “[Tesla can’t] build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis” and “the world would benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.” http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2014/06/tesla- bmw-collaborate-promoting-electric-cars.html Tesla knows collaboration will benefit everyone.
  15. 15. For many years their practices were under intense scrutiny until they decided to be proactive in their approach and change the conversation. Current actions include: • Robust interactive sustainability report • An open source sustainability app • A collaboration with NASA to to crowdsource the future of fabrics. http://www.nikeresponsibility.com http://www.nikebiz.com/responsibility/Pages/CalculatorPage.aspx Nike continues to truly make strides.
  16. 16. GE started the Open Innovation initiative and Toyota started The Collaborative Safety Research Center to connect their business problems to a greater pool of talent. http://www.ge.com/about-us/openinnovation http://www.toyota.com/csrc/ GE and Toyota open up their innovation to solve business problems.
  17. 17. Transparency is a cultural imperative of the company and all actions are taken with openness in mind. Adoption: Low Difficulty: Hard Level III: Empower Actions
  18. 18. At 600 people strong, actions like - all company emails for meetings involving more than two people, giving everyone a stake in the company, and weekly ‘ask me anything’ sessions with leadership - make a big impact. This transparency extends into their business practices where they have a flat pricing structure and access to data. "We want a small business to have as much knowledge about their company as possible," - Jack Dorsey CEO http://mashable.com/2013/01/04/square-office-culture/ Square has created a truly transparent culture.
  19. 19. By uniting employees to a clear set of values they have empowered them to truly make connections with people in a way that’s hard to replicate. Ways in which they continue to be transparent culturally: • Live Stream Company meetings • Offer free tours • Publicize employee memos on their blog http://www.terrigriffith.com/blog/2010/08/25/more-transparency-zappos-tells-all Zappos is famous for building trust through transparency.
  20. 20. • Which of your brand’s actions are the easiest to make transparent? Which are the hardest? • Which of your business problems could benefit from working with partners to help solve them? • Are there any issues that your brand could benefit from raising awareness about? (E.g. Tesla - Energy/ sustainability) • Are transparency levels 2 (invite) and 3 (empower) a possibility for your brand? If not, how could you get there?
 Making this approach actionable:
  21. 21. Thank You

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