7 Elements of Brand Trust
Trust is a tough nut to crack in any relationship. In terms of trusting a brand, it can take years to build a reliable reputation and even then it can be demolished with one negative interaction. Without brand trust, however, it's very difficult to build a loyal customer base.
Defining and delivering a brand promise are two different things. It's the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk -- and we know which of those qualities consumers demand of the brands they trust most!
Today we'll look at the core elements your business needs to become a brand that customers can rely on.
7 Characteristics of a Trusted Brand
When you want to become a trusted brand, work to develop these seven qualities that your customers can rely upon:
- 1. A clearly defined value proposition: Before anything else, customers need to know who you are and what you do. Trust flows from your core values into everything else you do to build your brand, so be sure to define this element early and let it inform every aspect of your business, both in policy and in practice.
- 2. You provide a resource: Whether it's a basic bit of information about your industry or a detailed guide to a very specific task relevant to your products and services, brands that customers can rely upon for relevant information and expertise gain credibility and build trust. Think about all the questions your customers ask and try to answer them in as many places as you can.
- 3. Inject some personality: As much as a brand is a trusted set of services, knowledge, and values, it's also the people that deliver those qualities. Customers connect with people before they connect with a company identity, so training must emphasize the different ways that employees can embody the brand.
- 4. Provide consistency... and consistent innovation: Every part of your business is branding. From its outside image and overall reputation to the quality of product and service when a customer comes in to do business, everything contributes to how people feel about your brand. People want to know what to expect, but they also need to see you working hard to develop what you do and deliver ever-improving service. Trusted brands walk that fine line between a stable experience and enough innovation to prevent it becoming stagnant.
- 5. Communicate with care: Talk to customers as individuals and ensure your marketing is as relevant as possible. Take advantage of surveys and customer service questions to learn more about prospects in your database. Use segmentation and customer profiles to personalize your product offers and services to match their unique needs.
- 6. Promote brand advocates: All the marketing materials in the world can't match the value of an engaged customer who adores your brand and wants to tell the world about it. Be sure to share good reviews and glowing testimonials on the sites and social networks you own. Ask your top customers to share their stories whenever you can... you might be surprised by how many are willing to spread the word!
- 7. Build a record of success: It means more to show success than to simply say you'll deliver it. Use your online channels and marketing materials to offer examples and show off jobs you're proud of. When you can demonstrate real world examples of your results and expertise, it builds brand trust more quickly than even the most effective ad.
Regardless of size, the best brands have these common traits that make them a success. They offer a clear value and deliver it consistently. They set promises and service levels, then stick to them or exceed expectations. Most importantly, they show that they care about each customer's experience and will do whatever it takes (including adopting a custom or vanity phone number) to keep them engaged and happy.
Brand trust takes time to build and can be quickly demolished when a business strays too far from its core promises.
Nonetheless, when consumers find a business that they like and can rely upon, the potential to create a loyal brand fan makes all of that effort worthwhile.
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