The 4th annual Most Trusted Brands report was recently issued by Morning Consult, with Band-Aid earning the top spot (again) as the most trusted brand.
Brand trust, as defined by Morning Consult, is based on customer responses to one question, “how much do you trust this brand to do what is right?” As the report states:
“We track 10 key brand metrics every day in Morning Consult’s Brand Intelligence. Of these metrics, trust and value are the most highly correlated”
In other words, your company’s ability to command market share and profitability are a factor of the trust your markets have in you. The higher the trust, the more market share and profitability you will likely command. The lower the trust, the less of each.
Trust is not something that is easily influenced by brand marketing and advertising. It is usually earned by performance over many years or many buying cycles. This is especially true for mid-market companies. Enterprise companies have deep pockets to flood the marketplace with brand images. Smaller organizations must win with sterling performance. Mid-market brand is more likely built by actions rather than by investments in carefully crafted new logos and tag lines.
What will have an impact on your brand’s trust is being a high performing and innovative organization. But be careful, it’s not possible to perform at a high level on everything. To build trust over time, perform well on those things your buyers value most.
Johnson and Johnson says, “Ever since invention of the Band-Aid 97 years ago, we have remained a pioneer in the field, consistently innovating improvements to the product – like the new BAND-AID® Brand Skin-Flex™ adhesive bandages that stay on for 24 hours.” Then they added antibiotic bandages, liquid bandages, and quilted padding. They meet the needs and deliver consistent quality.
Knowing what customers care about and need most should be the foundation underpinning every branding effort. When you can communicate your performance levels, you are beginning to build trust in your brand.
An innovative metric introduced recently by Amazon, known as a “frequently returned” warning, lets purchasers know that a particular item has been returned more than normal. Without going into the algorithm where this is calculated, this warning gives the buyer a heads up so that they can potentially avoid spending time and effort on returning items.
Be careful in how you communicate. If being accurate is the most important thing to your buyers, then don’t just say “we are accurate.” Compare this quote from a distributor, “98.38% of customer’s orders have been correctly picked during the last 12 months.”
This is the essence of competitive advantage communication. Even better if you can display your accuracy metric over a period of time (e.g., use bar graphs to track history). This indicates the issue is important to you and your brand, and that you focus on it consistently.
It takes a number of interactions to build trust. It may even take more for that trust to become the thing buyers think about when they think about your organization and your brand. Make your ability to deliver at a high level on three or four customer values the foundation of your brand.