Today’s consumers are a little different than they were 20 to 30 years ago.
The internet has given them choice in abundance. Relying on one local retailer or a major brand name for all of your goods is a thing of the past. A better, more affordable and more trustworthy option is always available at a few clicks.
Customers expect more from brands in 2021, and if they aren’t getting it, they’ll take their business elsewhere. This is why trust is so important for branding. If you can’t win trust, you’re doomed for failure. But why is that?
It impacts buying decisions
As we touched upon, trust is one of the key elements that goes into the consumer buying process.
More often than not, we’re seeing consumers base their decisions on whether or not they trust a brand over whether they stock the product they want at a reasonable price. More and more customers are willing to search for longer to find a particular product with a brand they trust, rather than settle for something less.
Convenience and value will always be cited as major reasons for buying decisions, however, we live in a society with growing distrust in major institutions (as the latest Edelman survey suggests) and the people that govern them. This sense has trickled down into retail, where people are more cautious of providing money or details to something new.
While it may not feel intrinsically connected to the process of retail, how a brand presents itself in the public sphere can impact their overall trustworthiness, thus damaging the potential to build a notable brand online. Trust is connected to every element of the buying process, even if that trust is often earned outside of a purchase.
It earns loyalty
Loyalty isn’t just a case of whether a customer completes a purchase, but how many times.
It’s likely you know someone who always goes to the same stores. It’s not just convenience, it’s often a case of trust. Trust they’ll have the same products in stock, the same prices and the same attention to detail in their service.
If you can earn a consumer’s trust they won’t just come back once, they’ll come back again and again, and spend the time in between telling all their friends about you.
Trust doesn’t just buy their loyalty financially, it buys their loyalty in recommendations to friends, conversations at work and shares on social platforms. If a consumer trusts that your brand has their best interests at heart, it makes them more comfortable becoming something of an advocate, which can have a significant impact on your reach.
It makes customers more receptive to future campaigns
Trust has been shown to have a significant effect on ad receptiveness.
Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to consume an ad fully if it’s from a brand they already trust. This is a brilliant way to bring in customers who are somewhere between brand advocate loyalists and still new to your company.
The key to branding is to slowly evolve, adding subtle tweaks to your output and appearance along the way. To ensure these changes have their full effect, you need to ensure consumers are receptive to your campaigns. You can’t rest on the idea that the same customers will come back again and again without question, you must first install trust.
How to improve trust
To close off this article, we’ll list some of the best ways you can maximize trust in your brand with minimal effort:
Earn positive reviews and recommendations
Positive reviews are the backbone of what builds trust in a brand.
Social proof is a concept anyone in charge of a brand, business or website’s reputation should be aware of. However, right now, we’re going to talk specifically about positive reviews and features.
Few things are as important as a recommendation from someone trustworthy. By getting your products and services featured in a major blog or gift guide, you can position yourself alongside leading brands and figures, earning consumer trust by association.
Traditionally this would have been achieved in the press, but modern brands can use the power of online outlets and blogs to improve their trustworthiness. For example, a review of the Americas Cardroom site has helped the online casino game increase its reach.
Take the gambling industry, for example. It’s one that many users are traditionally very wary of. However, by getting their new slot site featured in the list of best slot sites on a trusted affiliate site with a large readership, such as OnlineCasinos, a new brand can give themselves an immediate boost and quickly get themselves (and their deals) compared alongside industry leaders. Once again, this is trust by association.
Of course, getting an appearance on a major podcast, a link from a leading news site or even starting your own blog are also all brilliant ways to boost how trustworthy you look through new media platforms.
Get the basics right
By basics, we mean making sure you’re not giving anyone a reason to think something might be up about your brand.
If your website is missing any of these, you might be in trouble:
- A business address
- Two forms of contact information
- An FAQ’s page
- An SSL certificate or equivalent
Depending on your industry there will be other things you must have on your website, such as delivery and returns info for a fashion brand or proper licensing if you’re an official seller of a major product.
Give customers what they want
Finally, it’s important to ensure you’re always giving consumers what they want, or at the very least, what you promised them.
Trust is always in play. There’s never a guarantee you’ve earned someone’s trust fully as a brand, particularly not before the transaction has been completed fully.
Ecommerce stores, for example, can’t hope to have earned a customer’s trust before the parcel actually arrives. It’s important to provide a quality service that doesn’t insult their intelligence or demand too much of them (i.e. emails asking for a review before they’ve ever received the order). Oh, and a good discount every now and then never hurt the relationship.
There’s a lot that goes into winning the trust of a customer base. Consumers are always changing, and in the future, it’s likely they’ll be turning to brands to be more than businesses they shop with. However, these simple tips should help you make the most of customer trust during your branding exercise.