How to build brand trust
There’s a story told by Stephen Covey that provides a powerful illustration of just how important brand trust is, and how, once broken, it is almost impossible to restore.
It’s about a seafood restaurant in the US that was famous for the quality of its clam chowder. People queued for hours to taste the delicious dish. Unfortunately, when new owners took over, they decided to save money by watering down the clam chowder.
Naturally, the watered-down product did not have the same amazing taste that people had come to expect and as word got out that the clam chowder just wasn’t the same anymore, patronage dwindled and soon the business was in trouble. Realising their mistake, the owners immediately stopped watering down the chowder. But by that time brand trust had been broken. Even after being told that the chowder was now just as good as before, customers simply would not come back.
In this article, we’ll take a look at three ways to build brand trust for your business that will help you to create and maintain long-standing relationships with a loyal customer base.
Start with a strong brand identity
Your brand identity is the heart of your brand. Done right, brand identity tells people at a glance:
- who you are as a business
- why you exist (your mission)
- what you stand for (your values) and
- how you want people to feel when they interact with your brand.
Perhaps that’s a tall order, but it is vitally important to building brand trust.
Your brand’s logo is the face of your business and it, along with all the other elements of your brand design, must be visually appealing and clear in their purpose in order to build brand trust.
By being transparent in your intentions and telling an authentic, inspiring and engaging story, your brand will be viewed as relatable, real and trustworthy. This story, also known as a brand narrative, should highlight your brand’s journey, mission, values and humanity. It should show your customers how much you care and should be consistent across all your assets.
Maintain consistency of brand across customer touchpoints
Just like the clam chowder in Stephen’s story, your brand needs to remain consistent in quality and appeal. Any inconsistencies in your brand identity and in the quality associated with it, could irreparably break the fragile brand trust you’re so painstakingly building.
Consistency builds brand trust by making it easy for prospects and customers to recognise your brand and relate to it. Just as your brand design elements should be consistent, so too should your brand message. Don’t give your customers mixed messages. Know what you want to say, choose your words carefully, and say it consistently both online and offline.
Of course, you should remain flexible enough to make changes when they are necessary (such as modernising your overall brand design, adjusting ad campaigns or changing taglines). However, when you do make changes, ensure that they are made consistently throughout your brand.
A regular brand audit or health check will ensure that you’re staying on point. See our article on improving brand health here.
Monitor brand performance and customer experience
Continuously monitor your brand’s performance and customer experiences across all channels to see where you’re doing things right and which areas need attention.
This is easily achieved by tracking key performance metrics using Google Analytics, conducting customer satisfaction surveys and monitoring customer comments and reviews on social media and on sites such as Google My Business, Yelp and Trustpilot.
Make sure your customers have the best possible experience whenever they interact with your brand. This is achieved by offering reliable, high-quality products and services backed by exceptional customer care.
Be open to feedback and complaints and handle them with care and consideration. Implement any changes necessary as highlighted by your customer feedback. Take the long view and, wherever possible, show that you value the relationship with your customers over revenue or being ‘right’.
Generate social proof of your worth through Google reviews, social media followers and client testimonials to support your legitimacy and increase brand trust.