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 decisions and it can create brand advocates who drive referrals. In a world where a brand is one data breach away from a crisis, 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 brands they buy or use. There’s a clear opportunity for brands to build trust with their audience. Here are some tips to get there.
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 organization is risk free. Align your brand with cause-based organizations that are financially sound, proven leaders in their segment.
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 organization. A mistake anywhere from sourcing and production to delivery and customer service has the potential to spark distrust among business partners and consumers.
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. In the Headlines: Boycotts Pose a Grave Danger to the Equinox and SoulCycle Businesses
Engage with Consumers: There is a reason that politicians spend so much time campaigning, travelling 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 individualized attention to consumers. In the Headlines:A Museum Dedicated To Baked Beans Is Coming To London This Month
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.