Four Fast Facts on Building Trust
January 17, 2020 by Leela Bozonelis
Brand trust is an important—if slightly hard to measure—metric that serves as the foundation of consumer confidence in a company or product. Trust drives purchase decisions1 and it can create brand advocates who drive referrals. In a world where a brand is one data breach away from a crisis2, establishing trust before a brand is critically tested can be a social insurance policy ensuring brands make it through to the other side of a crisis.
Despite this, only 34% of consumers trust most of the brands3 they buy or use. There’s a clear opportunity for brands to build trust with their audience. Here are some tips to get there.
1. Find a Cause
Consumers understand how much a business can impact the world around them. If a brand aligns themselves with a cause that their target audience is passionate about, the audience will remember that and stick with that brand. Consumers want to find that brand that does right for their product and for society.
Don’t jump in blindly, however. Ensure that your cause marketing efforts are well researched—non-profit doesn’t mean an organisation is risk free. Align your brand with cause-based organisations that are financially sound, proven leaders in their segment.
2. Follow Through on Your Word
Brand trust isn’t all that different than trust between friends or colleagues. Following through on promises builds trust, while lying or dropping the ball damages trust. Remember that trust is earned; it’s up to you to takes steps to earn it.
This impacts virtually every department within an organisation. A mistake anywhere from sourcing and production to delivery and customer service has the potential to spark distrust among business partners and consumers.
3. Authenticity is Key
People trust brands that they can relate to. With so many channels that allow brands to connect directly with consumers, creating and communicating a brand persona has never been easier. On the flip side, it has also never been easier to use those same channels to damage a brand and the trust it has garnered through inauthenticity.
Authenticity means having an identity and sticking to it, and it is a key determinant of trust. There should be consistency between marketing and operations. Companies built on one image shouldn’t operate vastly different behind closed doors. When creating trust and building relationships with consumers it’s not just business, it’s personal.
4. Engage with Consumers
There is a reason that politicians spend so much time campaigning, traveling from city to city to take pictures and shake as many hands as seemingly possible. Engaging with someone directly—even if only for a passing moment—builds trust.
While a brand can’t go on a multi-city tour to kiss babies and snap selfies, there are other ways to engage one-on-one. Giving consumers a way to engage with a brand makes consumers feel special. Consumers will remember that special feeling when they are shopping. Use social media, in-person brand activations and customer service touchpoints as a way to give individualised attention to consumers.
Since trust impacts buying, it is incredibly important that businesses keep consumer trust on the top of their priority list. Consumers have more choices than ever. If a brand wants to remain top of mind and hold large market share, they must have the trust of consumers and give them peace of mind that their product and brand is the best in all aspects of the market
1. Read more about Technology and Trust on our blog.
- Why customer trust is more vital to brand survival than it's ever been, cmo.com, June 2018
- Data breaches 'have destroyed customers' trust in companies, itpro.co.uk, May 2016
- In Brands We Trust?, edelman.com, July 2019