Industry Insights

The Digital Dilemma: how much information should companies disclose online?

Posted by Sam Zalcman on Jul 10, 2014 6:00:00 AM

Recently, in June 2014, Professor Larréché was invited to speak at the Beijing World Brand Summit to discuss the tremendous growth of Chinese brands in global markets, and in particular, how companies can harness the power of digital to enhance their progress.

For the next 5 weeks, we will be posting extracts from an interview held at the event in Beijing, were Professor Larréché provided some insight into some key questions about how companies should approach digital marketing in the context of their overall brand strategies.

 

Question 1.
The Digital Dilemma: how much information should companies disclose online?

There are, in my view, three key information strategies that make the consumer more likely to purchase a brand...

The first one is transparency. In the digital era, it is more dangerous than ever to withhold relevant information from customers. It is better to make it available and pre-empt any negative arguments that could be brought up by third parties.

The second one is customer education. Many products or services are just presented to customers who cannot appreciate their full quality. It has long been known that the more people know about a category and the more likely they are to experiment and consume more. This has been very effective in a broad range of products by companies like Starbucks, Nespresso, or Louis Vuitton.

The third principle is focus. While firms should provide ample information that can be retrieved by search engines on the criteria set by customers, the brand should clearly communicate its key benefits for the targeted customers, on its own criteria. In a world of crowded information, “less is more” is definitely the appropriate approach, but it requires a deep understanding of customers, and courageous choices.

In summary, companies need transparency for building trust, education to create the interest, and focus to drive positive action.

 

The question for the next post will be: Digital Marketing: internal capabilities vs. professional agencies?

You can read more about Professor Jean-Claude Larréché on his INSEAD profile.

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