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    January 18, 2022
    7 minute read

    What Are the New Rules for Building Brand Trust?

    by: Lavender Nguyen

    Brand trust increasingly influences modern consumers’ buying decisions. Edelman’s “Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020” uncovered that trust in a brand is second only to price when consumers decide to purchase or pass on a new brand. This is also aligned with Brightpearl’s recent survey, which found that “trust is the new consumer currency.”

    Key Data on Building Brand Trust

    If those stats don’t convince you, then check out Deloitte Digital and Twilio’s 2021 study on the divergent perceptions of trust between 1,000 consumers and 500 business leaders in the U.S. Here are some key findings from the report:

    • 68% of consumers spent more money in 2021 on trusted brands than on brands they don’t trust. On average, they spend 25% more money on trusted brands.
    • Nearly three in four consumers say quality products or services (72%) and fair prices (73%) are critical to building their trust in a brand.
    • 96% of consumers say they trust a brand more when it’s easy to do business with it; however, only 35% say it’s very easy to do business with the brands they trust most.

    All things considered, brands need to strengthen customers’ trust to sustain their growth — there’s no way around it.

    Here are three tips to help you get started:

    1. Create High-Quality Products

    According to the 2020 Axios Harris Poll 100 rankings, “companies that are growing, trusted, have the best products, and that responded decisively during this year’s COVID-19 crisis [also] have the best reputations.”

    This makes sense because when you create high-quality products, it shows your integrity and commitment to delivering what you promise. Customers will trust your brand.

    But it’s one thing to make sure your product is high quality; knowing how to showcase it authentically is another. One best practice is using user-generated content (UGC) like reviews and ratings.

    In a 2021 survey of more than 6,500 consumers, PowerReviews found that “ratings and reviews have become the most important factor impacting online purchase decisions, ranking above price, free shipping, and recommendations from family and friends.”

    Almost all surveyed consumers (more than 99.9%) say they read reviews when shopping online at least sometimes, and approximately 94% of consumers say customer reviews and ratings top the list of considerations.

    Keep Customers Buying: How to Collect Reviews and Ratings

    There are several ways to collect customer reviews and ratings. For example, you can send a “leave a review” email after someone purchases your product or incentivize them to write reviews. Once you have customer reviews, publish them on product detail pages (PDPs) and share them on social media.

    2. Build Seamless Shopping Experiences

    The experience-led consumer journey is designed with customers at the center. EY found that when a brand focuses on developing an experience-led consumer journey and delivering a frictionless shopping experience, they can gain a strong competitive advantage.

    To build seamless shopping experiences, consider investing in the following:

    Analyze Consumer Data

    When you have an in-depth understanding of the way consumers live, eat, shop, work, and play, you can provide them with the values they want in the right place, at the right time.

    Implement Better Solutions and Systems

    Digital transformation and technology solutions — like product information management (PIM), marketing automation, customer service systems, returns, and delivery methods — enable you to provide an integrated consumer journey.

    Be Authentic and Thoughtful in Your Messaging and Campaigns

    Aim to provide consistent content across all channels, including PDPs, social media posts, ad copy, and email marketing. Also, make sure you “walk the talk,” as today’s consumers want tangible action and true authenticity, according to FleishmanHillard’s 2021 authenticity gap research.

    Offer Exceptional Customer Service

    Excellent customer service includes fast delivery, great staff, quick support, and self-service capabilities. Gladly’s 2021 report emphasizes that when you deliver an exceptional customer service experience, customers will trust your brand, buy more from you, and recommend your products to others.

    3. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

    Today, consumers’ expectations go beyond great products and services. FleishmanHillard’s 2021 authenticity gap research found that there are other crucial drivers that shape brand love and drive reputation, including:

    • “taking better care of employees;”
    • “having a positive impact on society and communities;”
    • “taking better care of the environment;” and
    • “committing to acting ethically and responsibly.”

    PwC’s “December 2021 Global Consumer Insights Pulse Survey” also states that consumers care more about sustainability than ever. Before making a purchase with a retailer, they consciously consider if the business has strong company values, supports local communities, takes responsibility for staff well-being, and produces eco-friendly products.

    And if we look at fashion consumers in particular, they’re calling on fashion brands to ensure transparency and respect for the environment and human rights, according to Fashion Revolution’s 2020 consumer survey. Most respondents think it’s important that fashion brands have ethical (72%) and sustainability (80%) certifications.

    How to Implement Corporate Social Responsibility

    To implement CSR, you need to align this initiative with your business values, vision, goals, and strategies. Then choose a cause that is relevant to both what your business is doing and what your target audience cares about.

    For example, if you’re selling handmade shoes, you can support artisans and local communities. Or, if you’re selling kids’ products, you can partner with non-profit organizations to help children in need. As long as you genuinely act on your purpose, customers will see it and trust you.

    If you’re looking for more insights into changes in consumers’ behaviors and expectations, check out Salsify’s 2021 Consumer Research Report.

     

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