When I talk about companies that are “branded to the bone” I mean companies that are true at every touchpoint, where the things leadership says are as true at the front door of the building as they are at the back door. Where promises to customers are consistent with the promises to employees and suppliers.

Annette Franz Gleneicki has a great post on Transparency as the key to a geniune customer experience.

We talk a lot about an “outside in” approach when it comes to customer experience, but this is an “inside out” approach in a couple of ways. Yea, inside out, as in turning what’s happening inside the organization to the outside. Let me explain.

First, I’m talking about creating a culture of transparency – transparency with employees first. When employees become accustomed to this approach to leadership (leaders must model the behavior they desire) and to doing business, then they can work with customers in the same vein. As I mentioned in a post a couple weeks ago, it’s important for employees to have clarity around the company’s purpose, the brand promise, and around how you do business, in general.

Either you genuinely are what you say you are — as a leader, as a company, as a brand — or you’re not. But since few of us can be in a state of perfect integrity at all times, transparency is our honest admission that we’re muddling through as best we can. It’s sharing what you stand for and sharing when you fail to stand. It’s knowing that it’s OK to fail as long as you get back on your feet and make it right.