While many business owners and marketers prefer to focus on flashy initiatives that appeal to consumers’ emotions, the reality is that most customers just want a brand that they can rely on. If your brand isn’t credible, you’ll have a hard time developing enough consistency to build a sustainable and profitable business.
The Role of Trust in Brand Building
As competition has increased in the marketplace and customers have grown accustomed to manipulation and “fake news” in the media, the role of trust has only increased as a determining factor in making purchase decisions.
According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report, consumers rank brand trust as one of the top factors they consider when making a purchase. A whopping 81 percent of survey respondents say they have to be able to trust the brand to do what’s right.
A majority of customers report that they prefer to purchase from familiar and trusted brands, while 75 percent say they value trust more than trendiness.
“Trust really matters for brands now,” Richard Edelman tells Ad Age. “I think it’s a completely new moment for brands where it’s not enough for brands to communicate. You actually have to make a difference.”
Perhaps the most interesting takeaway from the Edelman survey is that while 81 percent of customers say trust is an important factor in their purchase behavior, less than one-third of people say they trust the brands they buy from. In other words, there’s a huge gap in the marketplace for businesses to seize market share.
5 Tactics for Enhancing Credibility
There are a variety of ways to build trust, but you can get a huge head start by establishing credibility with your customer base. Here are a few ways how:
Today’s customers command transparency. If they see something shady, they’ll simply move on to the next company. We’re in an age where being a straight shooter pays off.
Transparency could look like showing the full price for your online items (including shipping and taxes) before customers get to the final checkout page. It may look like explaining the origins of every single ingredient in a food product. There are thousands of ways to be transparent – it’s up to you to oblige.
2. Social Proof
Today’s customers are very wary of corporate branding and choreographed PR stunts. They’re much more apt to trust their peers – so use this to your advantage.
Social proof and social media influencers give you the ability to leverage the thoughts of your existing customers to establish credibility and build trust with prospective customers. It’s highly effective and should be used emphatically.
3. High Uptime
Sometimes trust building happens behind the scenes in the inner workings of your organization – like in server rooms. If you want to build trust with your customers, you have to take issues like uptime seriously.
As Invision explains, “Your small business’s server is a vital central hub for managing all of your data. It is the heart of your company’s internet, database and mail servers. When the server crashes, your company feels like it’s crashing.”
Be mindful of how you build your technological infrastructure and what service providers and platforms you work with. One wrong partnership or investment can come back to bite you.
Your brand has its own personality. Consumers view it like a living, breathing person. If you want your brand to be viewed as trustworthy, keep things consistent. From the brand voice to the content to the color scheme and graphics, a consistent approach to branding will make your company seem more credible.
5. Just Do It
At the end of the day, there’s one key to being seen as reliable, credible, and trustworthy: Just do what you say you’re going to do. Seriously, it can be that simple. Don’t backtrack, lie, manipulate, or deviate. Let your word be your word. People will notice.
Build Your Brand From the Ground Up
Too many brands try to make a bunch of noise, sell a lot of product, and then establish a relationship with customers – but this is the wrong way to do it. If you want to be successful, you must build your brand from the ground up. This means focusing on credibility and building trust. Do things the right way and the results will follow.