REFLECTION: How Trust Will Permanently Reshape the Relationship Between Brands and Consumers
What You Need to Know:
Customers are the most trusted entity when deciding to purchase or use a brand, not the brand themselves.
Being present in conversations around your brand is extremely powerful to developing a relationship with your customers.
You have to be innovative and immersive with your content in order to connect with your customers and keep them engaged.
“The brand is no longer what they say it is—it’s what the customer says it is. Invite your customers to tell them what they think about you; set your employees free to engage with them.” – Peter Muhlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot
Photo Courtesy of Fancytreehouse
Trust has become a hot topic when it comes to growth for a company, as the most trusted person in retail space is the customer. All brands should have ongoing campaigns and resources in order to maintain relationships with their customers. As we’ve touched on before with trust, there is a never ending battle to ensure that your brand is trustworthy in the eyes of your customer. As Peter Muhlmann, founder and CEO of Trustpilot, says: “The brand is no longer what they say it is—it’s what the customer says it is. Invite your customers to tell them what they think about you; set your employees free to engage with them.”
Customers are always talking about brands, and your brand needs to be in on those conversations to connect and listen. Allowing people to tell their stories gives authority to your brand and legitimises it. With your customers, you need to let them have good and bad conversations in order to develop new best practices. Owning your mistakes on social media humanizes your brand, which can earn back trust from your customers. When it comes to influencers, they are the most trusted customers on social media right now. Accept this, and get involved with influencer marketing! Building relationships and telling a genuine story through them allows brand awareness and trust to grow. Trust is not something you can have overnight, it is an organic growth overtime that influencers can help foster.
Moral of the Story
Don’t be something you are not. Your customers already know you and what you are capable of doing, don’t try to change everything overnight. Keep in mind review sites such as Yelp and Foursquare, because your customers are talking about their experiences. Social Media platforms tell a more true to life story of your brand, and everything you have ever done will remain online. This is the new age word of mouth. Take time to invest in your outreach and fostering relationships with your followers, it will create more loyal customers in the long run and a better conversation around your brand.
Little Tip from the Top
First and foremost, lead the conversation. Your brand strategy should be proactive instead of reactive, meaning that if you can lead the narrative — do so!
Second, make sure to take in customer’s opinions thoughtfully, but also be sure to listen to those who are backed up by fact. Make the right opinions on your own and let data talk for itself. Being able to look at data and opinion together forms an educated environment. Listen to all reviews and conversations, just because you don’t have solid fact to back up every claim.