There is one thing that every company needs that is more valuable than the most expensive equipment, the highest-level Harvard alumni employees, and the most complex, custom built software. This element is a vital part of success, it’s a key part of marketing, and an important element of building your brand. We are, of course, talking about trust.
Namely, it’s quite natural that a customer will research his or her options, that he or she will think twice before making any purchase. They need to know that they will get exactly what you say you’re going to give them. Furthermore, they need to know that there will be no strings attached, not machinations, no schemes. Simply put, they need to know that what they pay for is what they will get.
However, the other element of trust is unique for our modern age. Privacy is a vital part of brand trust. However, never before has privacy been so fragile, so easy to get rid of, so easy to disappear. So, not only do they now have to trust your character, but they also need to trust that you will keep their information safe.
Understand that trust is vital for conversions, that even if you don’t care about having people trust you, you do care about money. And people will not give you their money if they don’t think they can rely on you and your brand. So, without further ado, below you can find 7 strategies that are perfect for getting people to trust your brand in 2019.
A big part of being trustworthy is authentic. If people think they are looking at the real you at all times, if what you say seems honest to them, then you can bet they will trust you. You can only go so far with a sales pitch, or with a list of “key benefits, every human being needs” that just so happen to be part of your services or products. What they want is to see that what you do is honest. Most of the nineties were spent as a cynical response to the realities of marketing, to the fact that companies lie, cheat, and steal, that they use and abuse their customers. There is an inherent distrust directed to most companies, and it’s up to you to prove people wrong.
Now, to do the above, you need to be honest and to show it. The easiest way to show honesty in a non-clichéd, non-condescending manner, is by how you approach and nurture your key values, and your goals. Your company culture and your brand identity serve as great presentations of just that. Be clear on what your goals are, and let them out into the open. Everywhere from your about pages, to your PR campaigns, everything should revolve around authenticity.
People have higher standards for companies now. They have higher expectations, consumers have been burned too many times before. In other words, you want and need to be transparent. Now, you can do this in several ways.
First of all, be honest with how you run your business. It may be a sad cliché that certain fashion industry giants use child labour in third world countries and that this may have hurt sales, but not dramatically. Still, people protested, lobbied, filibustered, and boycotted their products in a lesser or greater degree. Will any smaller company that deals in such things fair better? We doubt it.
Don’t get us wrong, this is not an accusation or assumption that you do such things. This is more a warning and a reminder that you need to prove that you are honest. Always show where your supplies and products come from. Do you provide some kind of assistance to your employees, or perhaps take extra precautions to use environmentally friendly supplies? Then say so. There is no shame in doing this if you’re not lying, just be honest and let it be known. Post the right stamps and certificates on your website, have a seal of approval from an ultimate authority on your packaging. Be proud of the fact that you are ethically doing business, and flaunt it.
Consistency equals trust in many people’s eyes. People want a consistent experience whenever they use your goods or your services. Now, don’t get us wrong. If a specific branch or department can give your audience an exceptional customer experience, more power to them. They should be rewarded accordingly. However, there must be a very strong foundational level of quality you do not want to move away from. In other words, there is an expectation you create that should never stop providing.
On the other hand, you also want consistency in your brand. We all know the right visual design matters a great deal. However, its ubiquity and consistency matter a lot as well. Namely, the good visual design should be ever-present, whenever people look at your logo or your trademark, they should automatically understand these are your products, and this is your company. If you went international, you want your message to be consistent. So, yore set in America, or England, or Germany, and you want a good trademark in Australia, in Switzerland, in Japan. Your trademark, your logo, your sign, all of these need to reflect your distinct personality wherever you go.
Social media has been a useful marketing tool for some time now. And while it is excellent for promotion and getting your name out there, it’s also very useful for building trust. You want to engage with your followers and your audience, and social media is just the tool for that sort of thing. Using platforms of this type properly means you’re putting a genuine human face on your company. They let you interact with your customers, talk to them, see how they think, figure out what they want, what they strive towards.
We all know about the disasters regarding consumer privacy in the last couple of years. Just another piece of evidence making consumers think twice about doing business with any company. All these security breaches lead to a serious amount of private information just getting out, right into the ether. So it’s pretty understandable that customers now care about this sort of thing immensely. What you have to do is create clear privacy policies, and show people that they are safe and sound with your company.
When was the last time you bought something online (or IRL for that matter) without checking for review? While these may not be the final, clear push that gets you to buy from this specific company, it is a useful tool to get a pretty good view of what a company is like. Sure, there are always many trolls and bitter people online, but at the end of the day, 4.5 stars still beat 1.5. So, you want to make it easy and available for people to give you a review.
What you need to do here is to sign up for a couple of review services, Yelp for example, and direct your customers to these sites. Let them know that you appreciate their honest feedback and that you thank them for their custom.
Understand one thing – your logo is your face; it represents your brand, your company, your hard work, ambition, sweat, and tears. You want it to be to the point, clear, and memorable. It’s supposed to help you stand out from the crowd.
Another essential piece of design is your website itself. Namely, you want it to look professional, and you want it to work. Having good looking content will help as well. By this, we mean that sloppy editing, coding, and programming will lead to a mess of a website. People will consider you irresponsible, lazy, and unprofessional, even though a poorly designed website may not be your fault at all. Your customers, on the other hand, will probably think how if you can’t get a good site going, why would they trust you with their money?
If you want your customers to trust your brand, you need to put in the work. There are many facets required to build and maintain trust, but all of them are vital if you want to get conversions. So, let people know they can trust you by securing your website and check out pages. A properly designed website is a sign of a company that runs things properly. Use social media to win people’s trust, try to be as authentic and transparent as possible, and try to get a review or two going.