People Want to Trust Your Brand – Are You Stopping Them?

People Want to Trust Your Brand – Are You Stopping Them?

Bank Switching

Has there ever been a time when brand trust wasn’t a key ingredient for business success? Not likely. What’s different today is how important brand trust is becoming to people in their everyday lives. Studies show that 70% of consumers world-wide say trusting a brand is more important than in the past – and for good reason. Financial stress, accelerating innovation, worries over personal data security, and concerns about social issues are just some of the factors making purchase decisions more difficult than before. No brand can afford to take brand trust for granted or assume to know which factors are impacting trust levels.

Brand Trust Isn’t an All or Nothing Proposition

Just as in personal relationships, there are different layers to brand trust. At first, a customer may be hesitant to trust your brand. Others may trust it for certain needs, but not all. Life-long customers might trust your brand exclusively. Identifying the best strategies for building brand trust requires understanding the depth and breadth of trust across your target audience. Generating in-depth insights can help you understand the potential barriers preventing customers from trusting your brand. Those barriers might be preventing someone from making their initial purchase, a repeat purchase, or from purchasing additional products and services across your product lines.

Proving Trustworthiness

The key building blocks of brand trust include relevance, authenticity, and consistency. First, demonstrations of trustworthiness need to be personally relevant, whether that’s with B2C consumers, B2B customers, or employees. Trust-building efforts must also be authentic to your brand, not opportunistic. Actions and communications need to be grounded in your brand purpose, reinforce your brand promise, and align with your target audience’s core values.

Of course, without consistency, it would be impossible to maintain brand trust. No brand is perfect; however, brands that continually work to earn the trust of their customers and employees alike find that occasional missteps may be more easily forgiven.

There’s More Than One Way to Measure Brand Trust

While there are a number of approaches to gathering brand trust feedback, the two most common are syndicated studies or proprietary surveys.

Syndicated Studies:

Offer a high-level comparison of brand trust levels among institutions (i.e., business, government, media), between industries, and across a range of attributes over time. Results help put different levels of brand trust into perspective among the general population.

Proprietary Surveys:

Provide detailed findings regarding strengths, weaknesses, and reasons behind brand trust levels that are representative of a brand’s market and customer base. Results help guide efforts to deepen brand trust among customers and employees at strategic touchpoints.

To determine whether a proprietary or syndicated study would best meet your needs, consider the following:

  • Have you already identified key areas in need of improvement but need to understand whether brand trust is a factor?
  • Do you have a well-defined target audience that might not be well-represented by a syndicated study?
  • Do you want to better understand brand trust with specific product and service areas?

If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, a proprietary brand trust survey may be more likely to provide the information needed for key decision-making. When you need to further understand the reasons why customers do or don’t trust your brand, conducting qualitative research can bring to life what trust means to them, adding another level of insight to your survey findings.

Building Brand Trust Is More Than Good Business

Building a brand that engenders trust serves many purposes beyond profits. Trusted brands increase confidence in customer purchase decisions. They give people meaningful reasons to share their brand experiences with others. A trusted brand attracts high-quality job candidates and helps strengthen employee retention. The truth is that people want to believe in and trust the brands they buy and the ones they work for. Building trust creates emotional bonds with the people you serve – bonds that are not easily duplicated by competitors. All it requires is careful attention to monitor, grow, and protect over time.

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