Consumer research has recently revealed the importance of trust in building brand value. Seventy percent of consumers today say that trusting a brand is more important to a buying decision than in the past and rank trust in a company or brand second only to price. Demonstrating a policy of providing accurate, reliable and unbiased content on social issues, data handling, and product integrity is fundamental to developing brand trust with today’s consumers, with authenticity as the single most important factor.
Being authentic means consistently “walking the talk”, to use a well-worn euphemism. Giving unsupported “lip service” to being open and honest with consumers will certainly fail in a digital communication environment of social media platforms and online influencers who consistently rank a brand’s performance. Being open, honest, inclusive, respectful and identifying with customers’ concerns and interests are key elements to capturing consumer trust. When a consumer trusts a brand, they are 53% more likely to try its newest products. Where there isn’t trust, only about 25% are likely to buy that brand’s new products.
Surveys indicate that 92 percent of consumers read online reviews and testimonials about a company when considering a purchase, and 95 percent say previous customer reviews influenced a purchasing decision. The digital age has disrupted the traditional way we relate to families, interact with friends and make connections with brands. Today, social media is where consumers interact most with brands, and more and more companies are turning to it to validate the brand and add credibility and trust with customers.
Gaining consumer confidence and trust starts with demonstrating the ability to deliver on the promise from the beginning to the end of the purchasing experience. Promote a set of values that align with a targeted audience and be persistent and consistent with content messages. The best content is original, conversational in tone, and authentic. Well-written content can elevate a brand to informed, capable, and even expert status among a targeted audience.
Establish an open relationship with customers and respond quickly to problems and negative experiences. Make creating trust a fundamental mission across the entire organization and an integral part of the company’s story. Welcome transparency and build on successes captured across social media.
According to Morning Consult, “the role trust plays in boosting a brand’s reputation, customer loyalty and the bottom line has never been more critical.” From living the brand purpose to respecting customer data and delivering valuable experiences, trust is non-negotiable and must be a part of every company’s DNA.