The importance of trust in building your brand
What do you think is the most important factor influencing the customer buying decision and later on, their loyalty? It’s trust! Generally, when buying products or services, customers look for brands and services they trust, and if you think about it, you probably do too. As the world becomes more sceptical, trust is becoming a rare commodity.
How do you help people perceive trust when they come in contact with your business? How do you build customer loyalty? The starting point is your brand and what it stands for.
What is a brand?
Many people think a brand is a logo, and sometimes a tagline, but it’s so much more! Your brand reflects the core values and attributes of its owners, the employees and other related stakeholders. It embodies the experience people have when they come in contact with it. People will talk about it, recognise it and buy it, based on how it makes them feel and what it promises to deliver. Over time, your brand will develop a personality. It’ll start to represent your core values and brand promise.
Defining your brand’s core values
Your brand promises to deliver an experience with your products or services (called brand promise). To ensure your brand promise reflects the right experience and values, it’s important that everyone in your company represents the core values (or brand attributes) you want for your brand. These brand attributes will, over time, create a personality for your brand, a voice, and will position it within the market - they’ll bring your brand to life.
To do this, you first need to define what you want your brand attributes and company values to be. They should be shared with your employees who should be encouraged to reflect them in their actions with each other, and especially with customers. To help build trust and loyalty with your customers (both the old and the new), they need to have a consistent and authentic experience of your brand values.
Follow through with your promise
Fulfilment, the ability to follow through with what has been promised, is critical to all businesses. Nothing loses trust like breaking a promise does - politicians are a prime example of this. Your brand needs to stick to its promise, to deliver, as your customers will hold you accountable and they won’t hold back if you fail! For example, if your brand promises to make the world’s best pizza, you’d better be making the best damn pizza around (or you won’t hear the end of it from disgruntled customers).
Deciding on where to position your brand
Your brand position relates to how customers perceive it compared to your competitor’s brands within the marketplace. In other words, what they believe you offer in comparison to what your competitors offer. If you don’t choose where in the market you’d like your brand positioned, your customers will make their own inferences on its positioning, and more often than not it won’t be where you want it to be.
Whether you’re aiming for the ‘value for money’ end of the spectrum or the premium ‘first-class’ end, your brand and brand identity needs to reflect your position in the market.