Transparency in pricing is becoming a trend across a variety of markets. More than ever, we're seeing direct-to-consumer successes who are open about their cost and profit, sharing details about how and where their products are made, and how much it costs to make them. There has been a shift in the consumer mindset in recent years, with transparency more expected and appreciated than ever.
Take Everlane, for example. Everlane is a clothing company, founded in 2010. They do something previously unthinkable: they shared the exact details of how much it costs them to produce each item they sell.
On every product page Everlane breaks down the cost of materials, hardware, labor, duties, and transport to reveal the true cost of the item. Additionally, they share the name and location of the factory that the item is made in.
This "radical transparency" as they call it has led to an annual revenue of over $50 million and avid fans including Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle, and more.
Another example is H&R Block. This tax season, H&R Block opted to list all fees upfront, a change in an industry that is known for not disclosing their total fees until consumers have already completed their taxes.
“The reality is, and we heard this loud and clear from consumers, the entire industry has been keeping everyone in the dark about pricing,” Jones told the Kansas City Business Journal. “It’s the only thing you buy in your life that you don’t know what it costs until it's done. So this idea of introducing upfront, transparent pricing is all about removing the mystery of what people are paying for tax preparation."
Not every company will choose to be as open about their costs as Everlane, and that's okay. At the end of the day, it's about building trust with customers. For some companies, transparency in pricing may simply mean that all costs are disclosed up front (a la H&R Block).
Deliberately hiding the total cost of a good or service misleads consumers and fails to establish trust. More than ever consumers are asking questions about ingredient usage, ethics, pricing, social responsibility, charitable giving, and more before they proceed with a purchase. Companies who choose to embrace pricing transparency and honest marketing stand to gain an enthusiastic and appreciative customer base.
So what about the incorporation industry? Our industry is hyper specialized but is similar to other industries in that there are large corporations and small businesses who offer incorporation services.
Some companies in this industry advertise prices for incorporating services and related products that don’t include additional state fees; which can seem misleading to consumers.
Here at The Incorporators Ltd., we've opted to be as straightforward as possible with our pricing. You will never see a price advertised somewhere that does not include state fees. The price that you see on the product page is the price you'll pay at checkout. Period. We hope that our clients appreciate this and we feel good about doing business in a way that feels honest and straightforward.