When looking at marketing strategies for your business, it is important to remember the significance of brand trust, and why this is a necessary advertising tool. By cementing your brand as one that is trustworthy, you will not only be giving your business a boost but will also be ensuring long-term success. Studies have shown that a business’ merit is often measured by its trustworthiness, with 82% of US consumers and 75% of global consumers claiming they would continue to do business with a brand they trust, even if a new brand with similar services came along. In essence, when your brand has a reputation for being reliable, it is more likely to acquire returning customers.
So, how exactly do you let your customers know that you’re a brand they can trust?
Before you can start building trust with your customers, you need to look at your customer demographic. This can be done by looking at your sales and marketing data and checking for any noticeable patterns in customer behaviour, which in turn will help you better understand your customer personas (characteristics that define your customer demographic).
We previously looked at how business blogs can build trust with users by learning more about their target audience, with suggestions such as:
- Creating buyer personas
- Gathering customer feedback
- Doing surveys
- Looking at your FAQs
- Reviewing your website metrics
- Researching keywords
For instance, you may uncover that the majority of your customer base are middle-aged women, which helps you zone in on which customers are the most valuable. Your next question becomes ‘What can my brand do to make these customers want to come back?’ By getting to really know who your customers are, you can better market your business.
If you want to see how customers are experiencing your website, it is worth using Google Analytics to check how much time your customers spend on a page; you may notice a pattern emerging which requires some changes for your site.
Brand authenticity is more vital today than ever. As Social Media Today puts it, “In a world of celebrity endorsements, sponsored posts and paid influencers, consumers crave authenticity more than ever…An overwhelming 90% of Millennials say brand authenticity is important, proving that younger consumers prefer ‘real and organic’ over ‘perfect and packaged’.”
Millennial consumers are not naïve when it comes to brand endorsements, and they can usually tell when a company is being inauthentic. So, to avoid coming across as ‘fake’, choose instead to embrace your brand’s faults, and invite customers to share any and all feedback, regardless of whether it is good or bad. By opening up your business to welcome criticism, you’re proving that you care more about your customers’ opinions than trying to look perfect and polished all the time. Customers appreciate honesty and the opportunity to have their opinions heard.
It is also worth developing a ‘brand story’ that details the history of your business and how it got to where it is today. Forbes describes the importance of having a brand story; “A brand story tells the motivation for starting your business, and why you get up and do what you do every day, why customers should care, and why they should trust you…The brand story builds connections and it builds trust. Research has shown the power of descriptive stories and how our brains respond to it. Scientists call it synchronising or neural coupling where a simultaneous brain activity happens in two people, the brand narrator and the customer in this instance, and leads to a mirroring effect, leading to an enhanced comprehension and understanding.”
Humanise Your Brand
Avoid making your brand appear too corporate or emotionless to your customers; instead, show them that there are real people working behind the scenes and give your business more of a personal touch.
Having a ‘meet the team’ page and author profiles for your team members helps the E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) or page quality of your site (you can find more information on that here). It helps users find the right person to speak to, and also allows your business to show off your team members and the qualities they bring to the company. Including pictures and short bios for all your team members helps customers put a face to a name and makes them feel more connected to your brand. It also helps if you incorporate some humour into it; for instance, maybe you have an office dog who you can include on your website as the ‘company mascot’?
By lifting the lid on your business, you can establish a sense of familiarity and trust with your customers; after all, seeing human faces is a lot more comforting than dealing with bots. Having a welcoming, friendly tone also helps your brand appear more approachable, and helps you connect easily with your audience. Use social media platforms like LinkedIn or Twitter to share your company’s photos, videos or accomplishments, inviting your customers to share in your experiences.
In a constantly evolving world, consistency is key, and your brand’s consistency is vital if you want to establish trust with customers. Everything from your company logo, your website, your services/products, and your interactions with customers reflects your brand’s values, so it needs to be simple and coherent.
According to Brand Extract, “When your organization understands the core of your brand, it is easier for your business to deal with change or take advantage of new opportunities. You can tie proposed actions back to familiar business goals and values. And because your company has been consistent in the past, when you launch a new product or program in-line with your overall brand, it helps customers see the change as just another step in your journey as a company.”
It takes time to build brand trust, so don’t expect it to happen overnight. Although it is not a quick process, it is one that is worth doing, and the long-term prospects make it worthwhile. By analysing the customer data, establishing your goals and marketing your brand as dependable and ‘real’, you have a higher chance of achieving business growth and helping your brand stand out from the sea of competitors.