How Brands Are Practicing Transparency And Empathy

How Brands Are Practicing Transparency And Empathy

With an eye toward the environment and social good, brands are being more upfront with consumers about the costs and processes behind their products

  • 2 march 2018

Lately, retailers and brands have been introducing new programs to deliver greater transparency, value and control to consumers by being upfront about their pricing, policies, and the production process behind their products and services.

PSFK researchers took a closer look at how companies are developing immersive and transparent storytelling experiences. In addition to finding out how products are made, consumers are getting access to brand-funded content intended to promote better understanding across cultures and social groups. Here are a few examples of companies that have been aiming to be more transparent and empathetic:

Oliver​ ​Cabell
Leather​ ​goods​ ​company​ ​Oliver​ ​Cabell​ ​uses​ ​transparent​ ​pricing,​ ​​representing​ ​the​ ​cost breakdown​ ​of​ ​all​ ​its​ ​products​ ​on​ ​its​ ​website,​ ​so​ ​customers​ ​can​ ​see​ ​exactly​ ​what​ ​they​ ​are paying​ ​for​ ​and​ ​how​ ​much​ ​the​ ​manufacturer​ ​is​ ​charging​ ​them​ ​on​ ​top​ ​of​ ​its​ ​production costs.​ ​This​ ​approach​ ​appeals​ ​to​ ​millennials​ ​who​ ​often​ ​want​ ​to​ ​know​ ​not​ ​only​ ​the provenance​ ​of​ ​the​ ​goods​ ​they​ ​are​ ​buying,​ ​but​ ​also​ the retail markup.

H&M’s​ ​new​ ​brand,​ ​Arket,​ ​provides​ ​details​ ​about​ ​where​ ​each​ ​piece​ ​of​ ​clothing​ ​was​ ​made on​ ​the​ ​website,​ ​giving​ ​the​ ​location​ ​and​ ​name​ ​of​ ​the​ ​factory.​ ​While​ ​H&M​ ​mandates​ that ​all suppliers​ ​​sign​ ​a​ ​sustainability​ ​commitment,​ ​factories​ ​are​ ​known​ ​to​ ​violate​ ​these agreements,​ ​so​ ​the​ ​information​ ​does​ ​not​ ​directly​ ​benefit​ ​consumers​ ​in​ ​the​ ​decision-making​ ​process.​ ​However,​ ​as​ ​H&M’s​ ​transparency​ ​initiative​ ​progresses,​ ​experts​ ​are providing​ ​insights​ ​into​ ​how​ ​H&M​ ​can​ ​better​ ​empower​ ​consumers.

Atlas​ ​of​ ​Emotions
The​ ​Dalai​ ​Lama​ ​recently​ ​launched​ ​the​ ​​Atlas​ ​of​ ​Emotions​,​ ​an​ ​interactive​ ​website​ ​tool designed​ ​to​ ​help​ ​people​ ​understand​ ​and​ ​navigate​ ​their​ ​feelings​ ​to​ ​enhance self-understanding.​ ​The​ ​website,​ ​which​ ​was​ ​created​ ​in​ ​partnership​ ​with​ ​psychologist​ ​Paul Ekman,​ ​is​ ​meant​ ​to​ ​turn​ ​secular​ ​audiences​ ​into​ ​more​ ​self-aware,​ ​compassionate​ ​beings by​ ​giving​ ​them​ ​a​ ​tool​ ​that​ ​helps​ ​individuals​ ​understand​ ​their​ ​complex​ ​feelings​ ​and triggers.

VR​ ​for​ ​Good
Lauren​ ​Burmaster​ ​launched​ ​the​ ​VR​ ​for​ ​Good​ ​initiative​ ​at​ ​Oculus​ ​as​ ​a​ ​way​ ​to​ ​use technology​ ​to​ ​break​ ​through​ ​apathy.​ ​Burmaster​ ​hopes​ ​that​ ​by​ ​enhancing​ ​the​ ​good​ ​deeds of​ ​activists​ ​through​ ​VR,​ ​it​ ​will​ ​propel​ ​social​ ​impact​ ​in​ ​ways​ ​never​ ​seen​ ​before.

Companies that reveal more information about their inner workings can become more connected with their customers, who like knowing the environmental and social effects of their spending. Others have been using their tools and platforms to encourage people to be more empathetic. For more insights, check out our recent research paper, Inspiring Sustainable Peace.

Lead Image: Jeremy Bishop | Unsplash

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