As there is a huge crisis in consumer trust, we consider it’s the time to rename your brandbook as a trustbook. At least that’s the word in the research. The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that only 48% of the U.S. population trusts business as an institution. It is a 10-point drop from 2017 making it now the lowest of the 28 markets surveyed, below Russia and South Africa.
- Try to go out on the streets and give passers one-thousand dollars. I suppose that they will be taken by a few people or even fractions of a percent of people. Why? Because they will think that this is some kind of scam. There is no trust in you.
- Now try to sell something to the same passers-by using internet or cold calling. Not just give out money, but convince people to give it away to you. What will happen? The same thing, even worse. Units or fractions of a percentage of conversion per buyer. Why? Same scenario. No trust.
- So it turns out that the basis of marketing is not a “unique selling proposition” and not creativity. TRUST is. Without trust, any “unique” offer turns into the phrase “I am John Smith, I need your clothes, boots and your motorcycle.” Here Terminator sounded much more convincing as he really needed that.
- Brand building has ceased to be a Brandbook with exact rules on how to use logos, colors, and fonts. It’s time to rename the Brandbook as a Trustbook. Brand building should become a methodology for building trust.
- Even a sales funnel should not begin with “voicing the offer,” but with actions to build trust. When there is trust, you can sell almost anything. And when trust is gone, even one-thousand-dollar giveaway may not work.
Here’s a short guide that will help you better understand how you can reconsider and rename your brandbook as a trustbook:
Know your brand-trust goals (and how to measure them).
Define what brand trust means to your organization. Detail what success looks like and how you will measure it. You can monitor how well your audience trusts your brand by checking out relevant review sites – Google My Business, Yelp, Trustpilot, or industry-specific destinations. You can track mentions and conversations on social media with social media management tools like Hootsuite. You can ask your customers directly for their opinions on your brand through online tools such as Survey Monkey, which provides templates you can customize. You can conduct an online survey to find your Net Promoter Score.
Appoint a brand-trust lead.
Your brand trust lead is responsible for ensuring that your brand’s goals and vision are well detailed – how you want to be perceived and how you go about achieving trust. The lead can develop blueprints and protocols for how to achieve trust in your content, across your marketing activity, and in your customer service.
Be authentic through brand storytelling.
Authenticity is proven to be at the heart of trustworthiness. Consumers today are not interested in the sales pitch, the marketing lingo, or the “key benefits.” They want to know who your brand is. Be authentic by being present – respond to negative feedback, address complaints, engage with your customers online (failure to respond to customers on social media can increase churn by 15%). And when you make a mistake, own it.
TIP: Invite your customers to tell their stories. Share these on your social media platforms and use a relevant hashtag to attract other customers to tell their stories too.
Transparency about your business is a crucial factor in eliciting trust. According to research by Reach Solutions, 58% of consumers don’t trust a brand until they’ve seen “real-world proof” that it’s kept its promises.
Build social proof.
According to a Nielsen study, 92% of global online consumers trust word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family above any other form of advertising (up 18% since 2007). While this illustrates consumers’ growing distrust of advertising, it also shows that peer reviews and social proof are more important than ever.
Focus more on relationships than conversions.
Wunderman Thompson made a research in which he found out that 56% of consumers feel more loyal to brands that “get them” – that have a deep understanding of their priorities and preference. These brands have taken time to understand their customers and made efforts to build relationships.
TIP: Treat your first-time customers like VIPs, set a high benchmark for your relationship from the beginning.
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