If you’re a marketing professional, you’ve undoubtedly been taught that there are a few key elements of branding—trust, and reputation.
Today, brand trust is more important than ever before. Brands are up against a lot, namely, a global pandemic, economic recession, and societal turmoil.
With each of these crises, brands face new challenges and must completely reevaluate their values and strategically plan their responses, because their audiences are watching very closely, and can easily verbalize their experiences (both positive and negative) in real-time.
Brand trust is no longer just a nice-to-have; it’s now a vital strategic asset that both marketing and communications professionals need to carefully cultivate and deliberately protect for companies.
To be successful in the long run, companies must understand the importance of developing trust through branding and focus on establishing that trust as much as they do on launching new product lines and services.
This blog post provides a quick refresher on what brand trust is, why it’s important to maintain, and the benefits of successfully doing so.
What Is Brand Trust?
Brand trust is one of the most valuable intangible assets companies can have. It’s defined by consumer expectations and measured by how well a brand delivers on the promises it makes with its products and services.
Why Is Brand Trust Important?
For brands, establishing and maintaining trust with clients and customers is a critical component to the long-term success of a company. To simplify even further, without trust, you can’t have clients or customers. And without clients or customers, your company won’t survive in the long term.
People now have access to a wealth of information about companies worldwide. At any given time, they can find reviews, testimonies, and criticisms that will play a part in determining their purchasing behavior. And find them they will.
Social media and technology have also radically changed how people interact with brands.
Gone are the days of visiting a company’s Better Business Bureau profile and calling it a day.
Now, people are reading reviews on the company’s website itself, and supplementing their takeaways with additional information from business review websites, comments on social media platforms, and even seeing what influencers have to say.
Expectations have also changed. Because companies now have social media managers and customer service teams, clients and customers require timely responses to their questions, complaints, and comments.
What’s happening in the world also impacts buying behavior. People want to see brands advocating for change, improving society, and using their platform to inspire hope.
And it’s no longer as simple as releasing a statement and calling it a day. Now, it’s critical for brands to follow through on what they say and truly walk the walk—for the long haul. If they don’t, they face being called out and scrutinized, which can damage their reputation overnight.
At the end of the day, companies exist to provide products and services that improve the world. To do this, they must create brands that are authentic, and most importantly, human. However, you can’t expect results overnight. Instead, focus on establishing trust slowly over time, by utilizing milestones and long-term goals.
Benefits of Establishing Brand Trust
As a brand, when you successfully establish a trusting relationship with your clients and customers, you reap a range of benefits that can hugely impact the success of your company long-term. Let’s take a look at some of the top ones:
Customers that trust and believe in your brand are going to be loyal to you. With how much time and work goes into finding new products and brands to try, it’s often easier, less expensive, and less risky to stick with what you already know and love.
Similarly, when you have a legion of loyal customers and fans of your brand, you will inevitably have built-in advocates for your brand because people love telling other people about products and services they’ve had good experiences with. It’s called word-of-mouth marketing and it will always be relevant.
Drive New Business
Loyal fans and brand advocates ultimately contribute to one thing—driving new business for your company. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?
Developing Trust Doesn’t Need to Be Difficult
Clients and customers today may have a lot of expectations—but meeting them and developing trust along the way doesn’t need to be a difficult process. With a consistent brand message, visual identity, and a focus on honesty and transparency, building a trustworthy relationship with your audience will be easy.