Insights

Make Building Brand Trust A Priority

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Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Trust, Post-Pandemic

The issue of building and maintaining trust has been with us long before Covid-19. For years, public trust in brands, charities, and the government has slowly been ebbing away. This is due to a number of factors – such as a lack of transparency, negative news stories, and the greater availability of information (both positive and negative) online.

However, the pandemic has placed the issue of trust at the forefront of our minds. Edelman’s 12-market study found that 71% of people felt they would lose trust in a brand for good if they were seen to prioritise profit over people during the crisis. And what’s the importance of brand trust, really? Well, Edelman’s 2019 study found that for 81% of people, trusting a brand is necessary in order to make a purchase.

Why Trust is So Important?

Ecommerce is a crowded marketplace, with nearly endless choice. This can often be a good thing, but on the other hand, it poses a challenge for consumers. How can they be sure the brand they choose will align with their expectations, delivering reliably and consistently? If there are problems, how will they know resolutions will quickly follow?

Audiences are more empowered than ever before, and trust is an important metric that will win you their loyalty, attention, and buying power. If you succeed in becoming a trusted, authoritative brand, here are some of the benefits you can look forward to:

  • Customer advocacy
  • Goodwill, to help your business weather tough times
  • Greater receptiveness to marketing activity
  • Acceleration of new business
  • Loyalty and return visits from your audience

After collectively undergoing 18 months of uncertainty, stress, and misinformation, the value of trust has skyrocketed. Brands are now expected to do more and say more. Consumer trust isn’t something to expect, but to earn. It isn’t static – it needs care and attention to be maintained.

The first step to building and maintaining trust in your brand is to make this a priority. And what comes next? Let’s take a look at the four key elements of trust, why they’re important, and how they can help you develop a truly invested community.

1: Consistency

When we continue to read the same truths and see the same values upheld, it makes us feel safe and secure. Maintaining consistency is key to building trust, and while in isolation it isn’t enough, it’s a key factor to consider.

Let’s put this into practice with some workable tips for your business:

  1. Audit your social content – what message are you portraying through social media? If you have multiple people posting content, does your brand image and tone of voice remain consistent?
  2. Look at onsite content – does everything fit together seamlessly with the same style and ethos? Do graphics, videos and banners harmonize with text?
  3. Consider the bigger picture – when you look at your brand as a whole, are there any aspects that stick out? Are you adhering to your core values?

2: Compassion

Care is essential for trust to form. This is true for individual relationships, as well as consumer/brand relationships. To truly invest in your company, consumers need to see you show compassion and understanding.

As a brand, you can show compassion in a variety of different ways:

  • Being vocal about causes and issues relevant to your industry.
  • Volunteering information about your company’s values and practices.
  • Promptly engaging with news and enquiries, both positive and negative.
  • Offering personalisation, such as addressing email recipients by name or sending birthday messages.
  • Being responsive to online queries, especially ones of distress.
  • Keeping in mind “the customer is always right” motto, and always work towards complete customer satisfaction.

 3: Communication

It’s hard to trust a brand that you can’t communicate with – whether you’re seeking a response to an issue, clarity on a product, or more general information. Brands that are open and communicate make their audiences feel valued, and this in turn builds trust.

There are lots of different types of communication to consider:

  • Emails, and email marketing
  • Social media – both public posts and private messages
  • Phone calls
  • Website comments
  • Review websites

The key is to have a solid strategy for monitoring all of these channels and replying at the earliest opportunity.

4: Competence

So far, if you’re following our steps you’ve got consistency in your brand messaging, compassion towards your audience, and a great communication strategy to make your consumers feel valued. The fourth and final pillar is competence – making sure your brand fulfils expectations.

Ultimately it’s about producing results and being accountable. This might sound a little daunting, but you can get there by staying true to your brand’s identity. Your audience want to know that what they see is what they get, after all.

Trust In Yourself

One of our key takeaways is to believe passionately in your brand and what it stands for, before anything else. After all, building consumer trust is a lot harder if you don’t have it in yourself. If you have the ideas, the drive and the commitment, the trust will follow.

For more practical ways to build trust in line with Google EAT, download our free guide: How to provide Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT), a guide to the Google Medic update. Want to learn more about your audience and how to connect in meaningful ways? Our consultancy services can help.

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By

Sophie Monks

Senior Social Specialist

Sophie has over 6 years of experience in the social media and content space, working in both in-house organisations and agencies. She has worked with exciting established brands in her time such as Campari, Aperol Spritz, Oppo Ice Cream and PayPal Australia. She enjoys the content creation process – from mapping out the shot and…

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