It would be easy for businesses to approach this privacy-focused era with concerns about how it will impact profit margins, yet we are seeing that brands who lean into privacy can win. We’ve come to a point where people have choice and are much more savvy about what they want when it comes to their privacy.
Dyson is another example, albeit an unlikely one. The company’s privacy page makes it clear that privacy is a priority: The first thing you see is a commitment signed by their CEO about privacy, followed by a beautifully designed policy that precisely outlines what information Dyson collects, why, and how the company protects consumer’s rights. Dyson clearly put just as much thought into designing an intuitive privacy page as it does into building its gorgeous products.
Plume, an emerging Wi-Fi provider, is another great example. It placed a bet on privacy, making it a differentiator to compete against legacy broadband and internet providers. Plume is so dedicated to privacy that “Privacy” makes it into the top navigation on their website, and like Dyson, it has a beautifully designed page that lays out exactly how the company approaches it. For a consumer, transparency like this builds trust and drives loyalty. For Signal, Dyson, Plume and giants such as Apple, privacy has become a pillar of their brand.
The success of these businesses reveals that startups can no longer put privacy off as an afterthought. Businesses know more about customer habits than ever before, yet in order to win, they need to be up front with how that data is used, stored, and shared—not only because of emerging privacy regulations, but to also maximize profits.
According to a study from Cisco, “Most organizations are seeing very positive returns on their privacy investments, and more than 40% are seeing benefits at least twice that of their privacy spend.” On average, businesses are seeing a return of $2.70 on every dollar they spend on data privacy.
As we look ahead, easy-to-use (and understand) privacy will increasingly become a standard that consumers expect. People will demand brands to have a “Privacy Center” where they can change settings and trust that they achieved what they set out to do with just a few clicks. Companies that proactively embrace privacy to add value to their brands and build trust with their customers will be the undisputed winners of this new era.
Daniel Barber is the CEO and cofounder of DataGrail.