Brand trust is the “new marketing currency” according to Forbes, implying consumers who trust a brand are more likely to do business with the brand. It goes beyond traditional motivators like price or discounts — brand trust is a long-term approach to building stickiness with consumers, so they will stay with the brand over a greater period of time. In fact, a report from Edelman shows consumers are more than twice as likely to stay loyal to a brand they trust, even in the face of disruption. They are more likely to be the ones who advocate for and defend the brand as well.
Knowing these benefits, you may be wondering how to gain the confidence of your own audience and perhaps equally as important, keep it. Here are a few recommendations for how to build brand trust and preserve it for months and years to come.
#1: Be Transparent
Transparency plays an important role in building brand trust. Consumers no longer inherently trust companies, but they do respond well to those that are open and forthright. Ninety-four percent of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it commits to full transparency.
How can brands make the commitment? These are just a few ideas for letting your audience see how you really do business:
- GDPR Compliance for E.U.-based Customers
- Business and Pricing Practices
- Labor and Employment Practices
- Community Involvement
- Positions on Social Issues or Causes
#2: Be Fair
Demonstrating fairness is increasingly critical for brands looking to gain trust from consumers, especially those in the younger generations. These audiences are more loyal to brands that follow principles of fairness in pricing, standing up for social causes, views and actions about the environment, and the treatment of employees and customers. Why? Because consumer sentiment has shifted to one that goes beyond the product or service, to feeling positive about what truly defines the brand and how it does business.
#3: Be Valuable
When you position your brand as a valuable resource, it’s more likely consumers will trust the information you’re putting out in the world. They will likely seek you first when a need arises, too. Value begets brand trust.
How can you become a valuable source of information for your audience? Here are just a few ideas to consider:
- Publish blogs on relevant and timely topics
- Host webinars for people to learn and apply your ideas
- Reference experts in your field as support
- Publish social media content on platforms your audience favors
- Create a podcast that’s helpful and entertaining
- Speak at industry events, conferences, and trade shows
Now you know how to build brand trust. If you want to keep that hard-earned confidence in your brand, there are a few ways to sustain it among your customers.
Maintaining Trust in Your Brand
#1: Be Proactive
Whenever possible, be proactive in your dealings with consumers. For example, if your brand encounters an issue with manufacturing production that impacts your customers, then it would be best for you to communicate up front about the issue as well as how you’ll be resolving it. Rather than customers having a negative reaction because they didn’t hear from you, they’ll actually increase their confidence in your brand because they can count on you to handle issues when they arise — and not because someone had to bring it to your attention first.
#2: Be Creative
Creativity is more than a way to attract attention at the beginning of your relationships — it can be a way to keep interest and trust alive in the future. For example, are you coming up with new and innovative ways to solve your customers’ problems? If you do, over time your audience will stick with you because they can rely on you to go above and beyond.
#3: Be Reliable
It’s impressive when you deliver amazing customer service from the get-go, but it’s equally important to maintain that experience each and every time if you want to keep the brand trust you worked hard to build. Whether that means showing up to appointments on time or delivering the finished product when promised, every time you demonstrate reliability to customers means you keep that level of confidence going strong.
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Building and keeping brand trust is important now more than ever as consumers have shifted how and why they do business with certain brands. If you want to stay relevant, then try incorporating some of these ideas into your practices, processes, and communications.
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