Envision this scenario:
You are leading the charge for brand marketing strategy at a relatively new company. For starters, you should be proud to be in such a dynamic and critical position to establish connections with your customers. Developing brand narratives, bolstering brand reputation and empowering the customer base are just a few of the things on the to-do list. While exciting, no one said that building brand trust would be easy. In fact, it comes with a lot of responsibility and risk.
A recent study showcase compiled by the Gartner Marketing Research Team found that almost 50% of consumers say that they will stop doing business with a brand when it fails to deliver on its promises. So that means you at least have to mess up once to feel any of this backlash right? WRONG. Another recent study, this one from Hubspot, found that 55% of customers now trust companies less than they used to.
Despite the growing lack of trust customers have exhibited and the difficulties faced when obtaining brand trust, the rewards for getting it right remain as clear as ever. Related Gartner research found that 60% of customers agree they are loyal to, and feel strong ties or emotional connections to, the brands they trust. So, how do we build credibility that will in turn lead to increased brand trust?
- Brand Transparency – Being authentic and honest with your customers will be the action that wins them over more than anything else at your disposal. Clear communication and showing who makes your brand what it is from a people perspective goes a long way in building the ever so vital personal connections.
- Social Reassurance – Another important strategy that can be a powerful tool if executed properly, social reassurance helps ease customer concerns by giving them options for how they interact with your brand while given insight into how others are doing the same. Providing options such as visibility into data sharing, customer testimonials, and user-generated thought partnership content can help address this area.
These strategies sound great in theory but are often times challenging to implement at first. Don’t get discouraged though, because the investment made will pay off massively in the long run. Be sure to consider best practices for supporting customer priorities and ideals in the research note Improving Brand Trust With a Proactive Approach to Brand Messaging and Actions (subs. required). Communicating how these brand trust efforts will impact your customers is also key, so if you are also optimizing your messaging strategy take a look at Building a Relevant but Consistent Brand-Messaging Architecture (subs. required).