A woman holds a handwritten sign that says people buy from people they trust.

Create a Marketing Strategy that Builds Brand Trust

January 12, 2023
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Consistently integrate your company’s purpose, values, and story into every communication.

Key Takeaways:

  • Consumers spend 25% more money and make more frequent purchases with brands they trust
  • Trust is not easy to win, but very easy to lose
  • When you consistently communicate your purpose, values, and story, you can build trust over time
  • Just a 10% increase in trust leads to almost 1% growth

There are few things more important in a customer relationship than trust. It’s difficult to build and easy to lose, so it is a continuous process. When it comes to your marketing strategy you need to build brand trust, which can be a vital differentiator in tough market conditions. A recent study showed that the degree to which a company is trusted affects the amount and frequency of customer purchases. In marketing strategy development, it’s essential to engender confidence that your brand can deliver on its promises. And when you gain trust, you boost your earning potential.

The three keys to a marketing strategy that earns and builds brand trust and customer loyalty are your purpose, your values, and your story. This requires you to integrate authenticity into all your communications and incorporate customer insights, so they know you value their input. Consider all customer feedback, positive and negative, to adjust your marketing strategy to suit. It’s vital to communicate so that your customers understand how your organization operates, and it must connect and align with their purpose and values.

An excellent example of a company that has built its brand around its purpose is Patagonia. In 2018, Patagonia tossed its well-meaning but open-for-interpretation mission statement out the window and replaced it with a strong, rock-solid statement that leaves its target audience with no doubts of its values.

The old mission: “build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” We can see what the intention is here, but what does it really mean?

The new mission: “Patagonia is in business to save our home planet.” Period. Much clearer, much stronger, and for their target audience, much easier to relate to and get behind.

With marketing strategy development, you must ask yourself these questions: How does purpose shape a market positioning? How is value significant for market positioning? How do you tell your story so it creates a purposeful market positioning? Your answers to these questions will shape a marketing strategy that earns and keeps the trust that leads to greater profitability. Here’s how you do it. 
 

What affects brand trust?

 
Many things influence brand trust, and as a brand meets the expectations they’ve set in the mind of the consumer, brand trust grows. Brand trust is also affected by how well a brand lives by the values it claims to have. Brand trust is typically affected by:

  • The quality of your product and services
  • Positive and negative third-party reviews
  • Cost vs. quality perception
  • Customer service in terms of both quality and speed
  • How you handle your business from a political or philanthropic perspective
  • How your brand treats employees

Other factors include data security and how consistent the customer experience is. It is critical to understand that brand trust can be a competitive differentiator. When consumers were surveyed, 64% said a company’s reputation impacts their purchase decisions. 
 

Build brand trust

 
You didn’t build your business in a day, and customer loyalty and brand trust won’t appear overnight, particularly because 54% of consumers say they don’t trust brands. This has led brands to work especially hard to build emotional consumer relationships. It’s proven to be a profitable strategy that creates affinity in consumers, and a strong, growing business for you with more robust financial results. 

When you develop your marketing strategy, keep trust in mind. Today’s shoppers are over gimmicks and celebrity spokespeople. They want the authenticity of purpose and values and a consistent story that creates a brand persona they can trust. Woven throughout is an emphasis on the customer experience. 

Consistency is key – as much as trust and brand loyalty can boost your company’s bottom line, if you lose customer trust, it can cause long-term damage. Trust can be regained, but to earn it and keep it is far easier than it is to get it back. For example, Wells Fargo is still reeling from their 2016 fake account scandal. 

Remember that you want a mutually beneficial relationship built on trust with your customers. The emotional connection is a crucial trust builder that can’t be underemphasized. So what do you have to keep in mind to build trust as you work on your marketing strategy development?
 

Set realistic expectations

 
The setup and delivery of customer expectations are at the center of your work to build a trusted brand. To do this, you must thoroughly understand what your target audience needs and how you can solve their problems.

  • Understand your audience at a granular level. Your target audience is not just one persona. To build trust, you must aim for the ideal so each persona will connect with your brand. 
  • Offer information that leads to solutions. Every purchase is a solution. Trust is built when you guide your customers to their solutions without the hard sell. You want to let them know they can expect you to give them what they need. 
  • Never make promises you can’t keep. Never overpromise – this is one of the quickest ways to lose brand trust. If you can’t deliver that product on time, say so. You will be deemed untrustworthy when you fall short of expectations. 
  • Promote your values. What are your company values? Transparency? Privacy protection? An approach that puts customers first? Refine and define your company’s values, show evidence to back them up, and make them a central part of your marketing strategy so customers who share your values can find you. 

Transparency is key, and you must manage customer expectations. You’re the expert on your brand, and your customers expect you to tell them what they need to know about your product or service. It’s just as important to let consumers know what happens and that they are supported if something goes wrong. This goes a long way if a customer has a bad experience. You want them to know that while such things do occur, it’s not usual for your business. 
 

Deliver a consistent brand story

 
To get the right customers (those who actually convert), you must keep all content consistent. Otherwise, you create confusion about what you represent. If any content (social post, ad, blog, etc.) is perceived to contradict your brand’s core values, you lose the opportunity and will see customers choose a competitor. 

Be sure your brand story is consistent with the product experience. For example, if you want to promote a child-friendly product that doesn’t have child-friendly features, it creates a negative customer experience you won’t be able to resolve. Make sure your story sets the proper expectations. Your buyers want to know your company story: who you are, what you represent, and why you do what you do. You must be and represent a trust-driven company that builds customer relationships to bring sales now and in the future. 
 

Exhibit your values

 
What are your company values? You might be a socially responsible company, or your values might be transparency or diversity. What matters is that your brand values give substance and meaning to your brand’s existence, while your actions are critical to your brand’s identity.

You love your brand. And you should. But remember that it’s how your potential customers perceive it that counts. Their perception is your reality.
 

Communicate your brand’s purpose

 
Purpose is aspirational – it guides customers toward a goal. Be specific. To say your purpose is to make the best widget in the world is not genuinely a purpose. You don’t want to instruct, either. You want to guide, so pay careful attention to your language.

  • The same principles apply to your purpose as your story and your values. Be authentic. Tell real stories about the real world. 
  • Tell your “why.” Your potential customers likely know the what, but why you do what you do will automatically differentiate you from the competition.
  • Show, don’t tell. Tell the stories behind your product, showcase customers who love it, and delineate how your products reinforce your brand values. 

Your purpose, values, and story all interweave to communicate the trustworthiness of your brand, and both you and your customers will be rewarded. They get what they need and want from a brand they trust, and they’re likely to spend 25% more on brands they trust.

At Advantages, we can help you take your brand where you need it to go. Ready? Let’s talk today.

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