"Products are made in a factory but brands are created in the mind." ~ Walter Landor
The pandemic, recession, and societal distrust in institutions have created a situation where brands need to re-evaluate their stance to protect their brands in the midst of the chaos. According to Pew, in 2021, only 24% of Americans trust the federal government to do the right thing. On the other front, one-third of Americans don't trust the media to tell the truth. Gallup has tracked trust since 1972, and the figure mentioned earlier is at a historical all-time high.
And thus, the question: With trust waning for the most fundamental institutions, how can brands maintain "brand" and re-establish brand trust with their consumers?
What is Brand Trust?
Brand trust, in its essence, is the level of trust people have in your business. Brand trust reflects your customers' expectations of your product or service to match the promises that you've made.
Brand trust is an essential facet of your business that needs to be developed as part of your brand strategy. Your customers expect you to deliver on your promise with every interaction. Failure to deliver will cause your customers to jump ship and find another brand that meets their expectations.
The top 5 reasons why consumers trust brands include the following:
1. Delivers good quality products or services
2. Brand gets good ratings and reviews
3. Charges a fair price for its products and services
4. Treats its customers well
5. Quickly addresses customer service problems
Image taken from MarketingCharts.com
Importance of Brand Trust for Your Business
Because of the global crises we've experienced, people expect brands to stand and advocate for change, inspire hope, and utilize their brand stronghold to improve society.
It doesn't matter if you've just started or been in business for a decade. If you want people to continue to buy your products, leave great reviews, and recommend your brand to their families and friends, you need to build brand trust. To achieve all those mentioned, you need to build brand trust.
Building brand trust is vital for the following reasons:
- Brand trust focuses on bringing value to your consumers. Nobody likes it when they're just another number or just another dollar sign. People may still buy your product, but you can't guarantee they'll buy it again. If your product or service focuses on bringing value, that will be your unique selling point. Your customers will continuously purchase or seek out your service if your product or service resolves a particular pain point.
- Brand trust impacts buying decisions. A qualified purchase involves some level of trust. People who don't trust you won't buy from you. But once you establish some level of trust with your consumers, they will continuously support your business, thereby increasing their customer's lifetime value.
- Brand trust builds brand loyalty. If your business consistently delivers on your promise, you will reap the benefit. Quality, credibility, and reliability are three things that your brand should always keep consistent and aim for, and what makes customers trust brands.
- Brand trust creates brand ambassadors. A happy customer will tell 4-5 people about their experience with their trusted brands. On the other hand, an unhappy customer will tell 9-10 people about their bad experience. A happy and loyal customer will always speak out by writing a great review on your website or sharing their experience on social media. They will tweet about their positive experience if they're delighted. This level of word-of-mouth marketing is a fantastic way to building brand trust and might even propel new customers along your way.
Building Brand Trust: The Right Way
Building brand trust is not an overnight process. It takes time but, most of all, requires consistency. You need to devise a strong brand management strategy and commit to it long-term.
Here are a few tips on how you can gain brand trust the right way:
1. Focus on customer experience
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
Your customers always want a good experience when using your product or subscribing to your service. Whether people admit it or not, your consumers want to build a relationship with your brand and the people behind that brand--you.
Relationship, people, and human touch--these are three things people expect when purchasing your product. Ask these questions when developing your brand trust strategy:
- Is it smooth and seamless when your customers interact with you or your business?
- Do I respond to my customers' queries quickly?
- Do I do what I say I would do to my customers?
You should always look for ways to improve your customers' experience. An important facet of this customer experience and interaction is your website. Your website should be user-friendly and easy to navigate. Subscribing to your services or purchasing your product should be frictionless.
Of course, if your customers have questions about your product offers, they should have an easy way to reach you. Adding a contact form section on your website helps, but a live chat feature significantly increases your chances of building better brand trust.
2. Be transparent
You always need to be upfront with your customers about things that are important to them. These include (but are not limited to):
- Your refund and return policy
- Your shipping cost and delivery time
- Your privacy and terms and conditions
These policies and conditions should be written on your website in a location where your users can easily access and in a language they can understand. It's always best to avoid legal language because it tends to be confusing and cannot be easily understood by regular Joes.
3. Create a purpose and act on it
Every business should have a purpose, values, and mission statement, and it should be clearly communicated to its consumers.
Of course, having all the above written on your website is not enough. It would be best if you also acted on them. Corporate responsibility, sustainability, privacy, and social awareness are things that consumers care about right now more than ever. According to a survey, 66% of shoppers trust brands that are made by a brand that commits to sustainability.
For the millennials and Gen-Z, business value is a big thing. This generation of shoppers is responsible for $350 billion of spending in the USA alone. It's not surprising that these customers back their beliefs with their shopping habits and always choose brands aligned with their values.
Here's a quick tip. Today's customers trust brands who:
- care and protect their data and privacy
- advocates for the environment
- gives priority to customers over profit
- supports ethical supply chains
- fund or donate to social causes and charities
4. Understand what your customer needs and respond
With a consistent customer base, it's not difficult to find out what your audience needs. Several marketing tools will help you keep a clear eye out on trends, consumer behavior, competitor activities, and website performance.
Data from these tools allows you to understand your customers better and forecast their needs. Obviously, it's always easier to just reach out directly to your consumers and ask them what they need or expect.
You can, for instance, send out a newsletter to everyone who recently purchased from your store. You can ask them about their experience and how you can make it better in the future. Keep it short and the questions minimal. Too many questions can turn off your respondents.
Trusted Brands in the USA
Take a look at this list of trusted brands for 2022:
5. CVS Pharmacy
Notice how the list coincides with the basic necessities people had during the pandemic?
Building brand trust is always a response to ongoing societal developments and experiences. If you want people to trust brands like yours or your business, you have to respond to whatever is happening in the world today.
Building Brand Trust with Strikingly
Creating a website with Strikingly lets you create a seamless and easily navigable online store where you can offer your products and services to your customers. You don't have to worry about design; we got you covered. If you don't have coding skills, we have you covered as well.
Here are a few Strikingly features that will help you in building brand trust:
Strikingly limits how you structure your navigation menu because it wants youto focus on your customer experience. Complex navigation leads to higher bounce rates, but a simpler one leads to conversion.
Image taken from Strikingly
If people receive a newsletter from a random or generic custom email creates distrust because they cannot be trusted. If you have a custom domain, you can purchase a custom email address with Strikingly and use it to send your newsletter.
Image taken from Strikingly
- Secure online store
All Strikingly sites are secured with SSL at no additional cost. What this means is that even if you're on Strikingly's free plan, you still get your site secured with HTTPS, which helps in building brand trust between you and your customers.
Image taken from Strikingly
We've built our entire platform with your brand trust strategy in mind. Building a website with us is building brand trust.
Do you trust us? Sign up today.