No matter your USP, your brand story, your vision, your mission, your values or your brand promise, your brand strategy must always maintain focus on this tenet: Trust.
Whilst building your brand strategy, your focus should be on building trust. Whilst fulfilling your brand strategy, your focus should remain on building trust.
Because without trust, you can have no clients. And without clients, you will have no brand.
Today we’re talking about the importance of trust in building a brand strategy.
Your Brand without Trust: From Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust
I’m sorry to have to break it to you, but if your brand does not have the trust of its customers, you will have no brand. It will shrivel, wilt, suffer…and die.
Why? Because no one has the time or the desire to deal with a business that cannot keep its promises. When customers pay you for a product or service, they are placing their trust IN you. If you let them down, they will run FROM you and right into the arms of the competition…who will see that weakness and work hard to build the trustworthiness you couldn’t muster.
Trust is built in a number of ways, including:
- honouring of deadlines
- timely keeping of appointments
- accuracy of data shared
- listening and then proving that you’ve heard
- sharing of reputable information
- making valuable recommendations
- honesty in times of error
- commitment to correcting mistakes
- referrals from trustworthy sources
- word-of-mouth advertising
- industry endorsements
Keeps these points in mind when building a brand strategy:
- Your brand is your promise. You may not have viewed your brand in this way; however, when you list benefits and tell your audience what your brand will do for them, you are making a promise. In everything that your brand does, fulfil this promise. Even if subconsciously, your ideal customers will sense this fulfilment and learn to trust your brand.
- If your brand is trustworthy, you have an advantage. Ask consumers, and you will learn that many of them distrust many brands. It’s somewhat of an epidemic. It seems that the principles of honesty and integrity have gone by the wayside, and that the majority of brands are in it for quick money. Prove to your audience that you’re NOT that brand. Prove to them that you still believe in the value of keeping your word and let them come to the conclusion, on their own, that you are the most reliable and trustworthy option. This will prove priceless.
- We all naturally trust those with whom we share values. As you’re building a brand strategy, you will list your top five (or so) corporate values. These values should be demonstrated in everything your brand does. Target audience members will pick up on these values, and if they share those same values, they will immediately feel a sense of kinship and trust for your brand. It’s human nature: we trust people like us.
- Customer service is key. What has happened to customer service? The landscape of today seems to be Every Customer for Himself. Break this cycle with personal, attentive customer service and your ideal customers will be throwing trust your way.
- Give adequate attention to criticism. Nothing says trustworthy like a brand that acknowledges its mistakes and makes a noteworthy effort to repair what has been broken. It’s easy to respond to compliments. It’s also easy to ignore or delete negative comments. Instead, commit to showing appreciation for negative feedback, and then taking measures to correct the problem. This will prove to your followers that you are the real deal—that you really do care.
- Give free advice. No one is accustomed to getting anything for free anymore. There always seems to be a string attached. Give freely of your expertise, and you will not only break this conception, you will gain trust and loyalty from your ideal clients. Know what’s really important to them. Answer their questions and present them with subject matter that will change their lives. Do this through newsletters, email campaigns, blogs, social media posts, podcasts, video and more.
- Know how your ideal client has been burnt in the past. For many consumers, their lack of brand trust stems from bad experiences. Connect on a level that feels personal. Show (don’t tell) them how your greatest desire is to help. Give them reason to believe that you’re not in it for fame, money or any sinister reason. Show good will, and take it slowly. Trust can take years to build, and only a few seconds to destroy.
Trust is the foundation upon which great brands are built…and the knowledge about how to create it is the foundation upon which you should be building a brand strategy.
Looking for some guidance as you move forward? Then we have the perfect one-day event for you. It’s the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, and it’s designed to help fast-growth business owners who want to make their brands more credible, visible and profitable in the simplest, most time-efficient manner. Register early and get a £200 discount off the regular price of £297. That’s unheard of! Learn more here.