Being a familiar brand no longer guarantees business success. In fact, ‘BIG’ company/brand can now mean bad, conjuring in the minds of some consumers images of untrustworthy ingredients, corporate secrets and slick PR. This is the world in which brands are seeking to build consumer trust. The winners will transform and create a vibrant connection with consumers. This is a huge opportunity for family-run businesses and /or smaller companies, where they still have ‘a human touch’. The question is, how to earn trust in an untrustworthy world?
Customers are seeking for transparency
In 2015, 1 in 4 people in the UK self-diagnosed online rather than visiting their doctor. Beauty vloggers such as Michelle Phan now attract millions of viewers to their DIY beauty solutions. And in 2017 the number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has increased five-fold to over 9,000 available courses, taking the total number of online students up to 81 million globally.
What does it mean? Many people now prefer to trust family, friends and even strangers on the internet rather than the traditional institutions. It is not that trust has declined overall – simply that consumer trust has been reassigned.
78% of consumers trust transparent brands more, and those numbers climb to 83% when we look to millennial mothers between the ages of 18 and 34.
“Being transparent is not just about putting data into the public domain, but about the intention. Transparency must always benefit consumers; it’s not simply for companies to demonstrate how great they are.” R.Pamias, Grupo Bimbo
As we stressed in the
Is your product building trust in a human way?
Take this test of the 7 PILLARS of TRUSTED BUSINESS
- 1. HAS GOOD INTENTIONS
Does your product/service push transparency to the forefront?
Are revelations side-lined, minimised or revealed reluctantly?
- 2. MAKES HUMBLE CLAIMS
Are problems and challenges shared openly and goals for improvement set?
Is everything presented as perfect or not shared at all?
- 3. ALWAYS A WORK IN PROGRESS
Does your product/service embody transparency consistently?
Is transparency a one-off response to criticism?
- 4. GOES ABOVE AND BEYOND
Does your product/service bring information proactively to people?
Is the transparency merely standard practice?
- 5. IS TRULY HELPFUL
Does your product/service answer real consumer questions to help them make decisions?
Is what’s shared just what the company wants to tell?
- 6. TAKES RISKS
Are data-in-progress and problems shared as soon as they are available?
Does your product/service hide information until it’s perfect?
- 7. STANDS FOR SOMETHING
Is your product/service clear about its values?
Is it neutral on the issues?
“Any time you have difficulty making an important decision, you can be sure that it’s the result of being unclear about your values.” – T. Robbins
Each time you experience a decision-making crisis, stop to ensure that your goals and the decision itself are in line with your core values. Core values should inform each step of your business plan and every strategy you implement. Be clear on your company’s mission. Why do you do what you do? Who are you serving? If you will be honest with yourself – this a start to build a trust with your clients. And it is value for money:
nearly 2 in 3 consumers take a brand’s stand into account when making a purchase decision.