How to build a trusted brand

Trust is the most critical component for building a strong and enduring brand. But why is there an increasing need for marketers to focus on this now?

As the speed of business gets faster, there’s a danger that we become too quick to seek a sale and too slow to build a relationship. In a world of promotion-driven-marketing tactics, many brands forget that building trust is the main thing holding the relationship with the customer together. Most marketers are in business to create demand and sell more stuff. They’re even rewarded for doing so.

As the speed of business gets faster, there’s a danger that we become too quick to seek a sale and too slow to build a relationship.

In a world of promotion-driven-marketing tactics, many brands forget that building trust is the main thing holding the relationship with the customer together and end up damaging it. Eighty per cent of consumers distrust businesses, governments, or both, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer.

When it’s done right, it benefits the bottom-line. Gaining consumers’ trust increases sales, increases what they are willing to pay for a brand’s products and services, and increases the likelihood of them recommending or defending that brand.

Eighty-two per cent of consumers will use more of the products and services from a brand they trust and 76 per cent will always check out that brand first when they’re considering a purchase, a Research Now report has shown.

Now we know the impact and effect trust can have on brands, why is the need to build trust becoming more imperative?

Big data

Individuals are generating more data than at any point in history, giving marketers more access to insight than they’ve ever had before. With this comes poor data management and a threat to customer privacy, making customers more guarded about sharing data and parting with personal information.

Media

Public trust is being dented by the increased number of scandals by big companies like Volkswagen, British Gas and Tesco. Customers are now more likely to question the integrity of brands and change their purchasing behaviour due to the increased awareness and media attention given to brands behaving deceitfully.

However, not all is lost. Time invested upfront to build trust with customers and being transparent from the beginning will work in your favour for those unavoidable situations.

Three key ways to build a trusted brand

1. Transparency

Maintaining transparency with customers helps build confidence in brands. It’s important to be open and honest about your products and services and share accurate information in a sincere and appropriate manner.

It’s also vital to be transparent and clearly communicate the way your business is run. The more customers understand how a business operates and what it does, the more trusted it becomes.

Apple is a great example of a transparent brand with its on-site specialists, in store Genius bar, complimentary one-to-one workshops and enthusiastic staff that strive to inform clients about their philosophy and latest innovations as oppose to just selling to you.

Customers appreciate an honest, personal touch.

82% of consumers will use more of the products and services from a brand they trust

2. Engagement

If customers are engaged with your brand, they are more likely to spread their positive feelings through testimonials or word of mouth. The customer voice is a powerful third-party force for generating future sales, with 92 per cent of purchases motivated by it, according to Havas.

Continuous engagement through content is key, but only when it’s targeted and relevant. It’s important to make sure you’re presenting the right message or content to the right audience.

Use insights and analysis to research and understand your target audience and their requirements. This will enable you to develop a strategy that takes into account who you are trying to reach, what challenges they face and the type of content you need to provide.

By providing the right message to the right people you are well on your way towards building a trusting relationship.

3. Purpose

Customers are increasingly looking to their favoured brands to show leadership on matters that directly impact them. Having a purpose is becoming one of the defining issues that a business’s superiority can be judged on. This has led to brands increasingly using environmental, economic and societal benefits as a key element in their marketing strategy.

Brands need something else to encourage trust in the long-term. They are now starting to compete on purpose and values to strengthen their bond with B2B and B2C customers.

In summary:

Customers will not move forward in building a trusted long-term relationship with a brand until a brand proves it is able to:

~ Maintain transparency

~ Ensure regular engagement

~ Have a purpose