For the past 18 years, the Edelman Trust Barometer has measured brand trust around the globe. This year, they titled their report “The Battle for Truth.” It’s not a subtle message. US consumer trust has decreased in every realm: NGOs, business, government, and the media. We need consumer-centric strategies.
The Customer’s Always Right
Have you ever heard “the customer’s always right?” There’s a reason we say that. It doesn’t matter what your intentions are, if your customer doesn’t trust your brand.
What’s more, your brand isn’t what you say or do. Your brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. That means that a good brand requires a strategy. The brand will be made up of:
- What you tell people
- How you say it
- What you do
- How you represent what you do
You need all four of these elements to make a good brand strategy. If you tell people that you are helpful, but you say it in a way that doesn’t come across as helpful, and you don’t act helpful, it doesn’t matter. Alternatively, if you say you care about the community, and you say it well, and you work with the community, but you don’t advertise it, then it doesn’t make a difference. People won’t know.
But worst of all, if you don’t consider the consumer’s needs, then none of the rest matters.
Build Consumer-Centric Strategies
When you consider people rather than plans, you can build a strategy that is truly consumer-centric. The person you care about needs something specific. When you focus on that person, and develop a strategy that puts them at the center, you put yourself in a great position. Then you can choose channels, apps, and partnerships as tactics that support that person.
It’s a win-win situation, and it’s the key to building trust.