Yesterday, Tim Wilson and I gave a presentation on the brand impact of Transparency, at the launch of Organic Exchange Europe in Amsterdam. The presentation is available under 'Resources' and 'Implications for Marketing' on the RightSide Up home page.
The presentation describes a move from brand opacity (hiding knowledge to build brand premiums) through translucency (offering sneak peeks to support brand story telling), to fully-fledged transparency (a free and open information exchange with stakeholders).
Transparency is a founding principle of RightSideUp thinking and the most critical enabler of social markets.
But actually the relationship between RSU and transparency goes even deeper. There's a two-way relationship going on here.
Transparency is both enabled by VRM (which restores information and social symmetry between individuals and institutions) but it also drives the need for VRM, as any remaining asymmetries stand out like beacons of inequity, demanding ever more efficient matching services on behalf of the individual.
In principle, at least, this will create a virtuous circle of ever more transparent and trustworthy relationships.
Transparent individuals want transparent products which match their precise needs and social context.
But such richly transparent products can only be produced by transparent organisations which share their product backstory, seeking to combine both brand principles and supply-web production processes.
Inevitably though, transparent organisations' self interest lies in creating transparent markets where their true stories can be selected over their rivals' over-bundled half-truths and obfuscations.
Closing the systems loop, these transparent markets are the ones in which social and information democracy prevail - in which individuals are enabled to both share and benefit from their personal assets - the underlying principles of VRM.
RightSideUpness is thus embedded at the centre of the Transparency system and the Transparency system is, to my mind, an inevitability.
Make no mistake. Transparency is already here. Henceforth we can look forward to stakeholder to stakeholder, stakeholder to enterprise and enterprise-wide 'mutual marketing' tools to make it work for us not against us.
The next decade will be a race between Microsoft/Google vs Oracle/SAP to provide the infrastructure for a see-through world.
'Find' will be the new killer app.
Authored by: Tim Kitchin