The Power of Transparent Marketing

The idea of transparent marketing may seem counter intuitive, however it downright works. Transparent marketing is a tactic used by any company or business owner that is completely transparent about the service or product that is being sold. Yes, the good, the bad and the ugly are revealed. This eliminates all smoke and mirrors and is the best tactic used for trust building. When it comes to transparent marketing, there is honesty- which is the most admired quality since there is not much of it around especially when it comes to marketing. The reason that transparent marketing may appear to be counter intuitive is because it reveals even the negative side about a service or product. However, in most cases that does not phase the consumer. In fact the consumer is impressed by the honesty presented that he or she would overlook the negative aspects. I will give you two examples of companies that have used transparent marketing.

The first example is The Heart Attack Grill, which is a restaurant chain located in Dallas, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

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This chain is not only open about how unhealthy their food is, however they are proud of it. For instance, they are very open about how unhealthy their burgers- and even name them after different types of heart surgeries. In fact they boldly put out there that they hold the Guinness World Record for the Highest Calorie Burger. They also have a hot dog menu and name one of their hot dogs the Coronary Dog. Their fries are called Flatliner Fries, not to mention, they are very open about how their food is fried in pure lard. Not to mention, as you see in the picture, they are extremely transparent about how fattening their shakes are that they say it is downright wrong to use this much cream! This is transparent marketing, and it works because there are plenty of tourists who visit those cities that can’t wait to try this restaurant. Transparent marketing not only builds trust, and makes people realize the truth about the products and services that the company is providing- however it piques a lot of curiosity. That is certainly the case when it comes to tourists visiting and eating at The Heart Attack Grill. People realize how risky it is to eat food at that restaurant and so many are willing to take it because this restaurant markets their products very well.

Another company that uses transparent marketing is the Canadian company Buckley’s that make potent cough syrup that tastes awful. In their commercials, this company has even said that their cough syrup tastes awful but it works. On their website they state When it comes to being sick, there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who want comfort, and those who want to get better. We make medicine for the second kind. Even though consumers are well aware of how bad this cough syrup tastes, it is widely used by Canadians who overlook the bad taste because it really does work well. Not to mention, the tough love from Buckley’s may not be comforting but it is respected and people respond to that.

These are examples of transparent marketing. When you are exposing the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of your products and services, that is a daunting thought for any business owner- however, just remember that this is a fast way to build trust since people admire honesty in anyone and it piques a lot of curiosity.

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12 Responses to The Power of Transparent Marketing

  1. Debra Jason January 26, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Cool examples. Don’t think I’d want to eat at The Heart Attack Grill, but their advertising brings ’em in so good for them!
    Debra Jason recently posted..Are you writing from the inside out?

    • Miriam January 26, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

      I hear you loud and clear. I don’t want to eat there either but I am curious to see it if they would let me lol. I am going to Vegas this summer so maybe I will check out what I can of it.

  2. Ruthanne January 26, 2015 at 7:53 pm #

    Great post for transparency! Love the idea. Never knew about heart attack grill… sounds actually like a great marketing approach to me… Be honest about it all, and you’ll gain trust.
    Ruthanne recently posted..10 Network Marketing Phrases to Make Prospects Flee, Part 1 of 2

    • Miriam January 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

      Thanks Ruthanne, and yeah Heart Attack Grill is certainly an interesting concept, and disgustingly honest too!

  3. Robert Frank January 31, 2015 at 7:15 am #

    Great article Miriam! Thanks for sharing, I love the idea of transparent marketing! Isn’t that what we all want, the pros, the cons! Seriously! Thanks for bringing the value!
    Robert Frank recently posted..IDLife Review – Is ID Life the right MLM for You?

    • Miriam February 1, 2015 at 4:10 am #

      I am happy you found it valuable Robert, and you are right. We need to know the good, bad and ugly side of things!

  4. Sue Bride February 1, 2015 at 11:19 pm #

    I suspect that the Heart Attack Grill aims to attract younger customers. As you get older the health risks seem more real and the names off-putting. Saying that if I were a tourist and it was a one off I’d be keen to visit for some Flatliner fries and an IV drink.

    I believe in transparency. Otherwise you disappoint clients or customers which is no good for your reputation or repeat purchases.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Essential Website Tools and Some That Aren’t

    • Miriam February 2, 2015 at 1:46 am #

      I agree Sue, however I am just curious to see it 🙂 I have certainly no interest in eating there and younger customers would be attracted..thanks for the commenting.

  5. Lillian De Jesus February 2, 2015 at 1:22 am #

    Hi Miriam,

    Wow! These are some really great examples of transparent marketing. I guess it does work. Be real and consumers will know what they get. It’s a win-win.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Lillian De Jesus recently or – Which is best for a new entrepreneur?

    • Miriam February 2, 2015 at 1:45 am #

      Absolutely Lillian and thanks for commenting.

  6. Monisha Kapur February 8, 2015 at 11:46 pm #

    Hi Miriam,

    Great post on transparent marketing!! I agree in that consumers want to know exactly what they are purchasing and being open and transparent about one’s product is the best approach.

    Love the examples! Those companies say the good, the bad and the ugly about them and leave it up to the customer to decide.

    Thanks so much for sharing this awesome marketing approach!
    Monisha Kapur recently posted..Winter Dressing Guide (Not just for cold weather climates)

    • Miriam February 9, 2015 at 1:33 am #

      thanks Monisha, people just want honesty and this is why it works.

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