Having a brand people believe in and trust attracts new customers and helps maintain existing ones. Cultivating strong brand trust can give a company a competitive advantage. It helps them maintain their standing in the eyes of customers. Conversely, if customers don’t trust a company, they’re unlikely to pay for its products or services, even if the products or services have a lot to offer.
What is brand trust?
Brand trust means different things to different organizations, or even to different people within one organization. Consequently, the way your organization defines brand trust influences the steps you’ll take to maintain and improve it. However, speaking broadly, brand trust measures how confident customers are in a business. It’s a key part of the purchase decision-making process. How much customers trust your brand reflects how well your ability to deliver on your promises and meet customers’ needs matches the image projected by your branding.
Why is brand trust so important?
Brand trust brings immense value to customers. Say two companies offer two products that cost the same and are, for most purposes, functionally identical. One company has a storied history of making high quality products and treating their customers well. The other sells hit-or-miss products and makes their customers wait on hold for hours every time they need tech support. Which product do you think people will buy?
It’s a no-brainer: of course customers will buy from the first company. Even if their product cost more, customers would probably still prefer it. Because they have reason to trust the company’s brand and the image conveyed by their advertising, customers feel comfortable buying their product: it seems like a low-risk decision. As much as they’re paying for the product itself, they’re also paying for peace of mind.
A company with strong brand trust can expect a steady stream of loyal customers. More than just maintaining existing customers, they can acquire new ones. This isn’t just because being known as a reputable brand is a strong selling point: loyal customers can easily become advocates for your company and your brand. Brand trust boosts your NPS (net promoter score), a measurement of how likely customers are to recommend your products or services.
How can a company cultivate brand trust?
1: Conduct original market research
What do your customers like or dislike about your product or service? Why do your competitors’ customers choose them over you? What are other professionals in your industry saying about your company? Knowing the answers to all these questions can make a huge difference in your ability to cultivate brand trust. While the other three tips on this list can help a company operating in any market, conducting original research can help a company know which steps unique to their market can help build brand trust.
Knowing what makes your customers unique lets you cater to their needs better — which, unsurprisingly, can help build brand trust. Good market research offers companies to-the-minute insights on customer sentiment and the best practices for building brand trust. Success in business often boils down to making the best decisions possible at every step. And the best decisions are always informed ones.
2: Sell good products or services
Many factors can influence brand trust. One that should go without saying is offering high-quality products or services. If you sell a product that works every time, your customers are likely to keep buying your products, as well as recommend them to others. If your product fails to perform as advertised, you risk making your customers disillusioned with your products and disinclined to buy them again.
3: Have strong customer relationships
Customer relationships are a critical part of running a business. Your relationships with your customers can be one of the most important factors in building brand trust and influencing whether or not a customer will become a repeat buyer. To build strong customer relations, you need to know what your customers want and how they expect to receive it.
Part of this is about customer service — making sure that it’s easy to communicate with your company, that you handle customer issues in a smooth and speedy way. But it goes deeper: this kind of customer service is fundamentally reactive. Strong customer relations also depend on proactive measures, with long-term strategy in mind. Touches of humanity make a difference — e.g., personalized emails that don’t feel like they came off an assembly line.
A company with strong customer relations makes their customers feel as though they care about the customer’s continued success with using the company’s products or services — as opposed to just caring about sales and profit. Customers who feel cared about are more likely to become advocates for your brand, rather than passive consumers. It’s also essential to stay mindful of customer satisfaction to keep your existing customers happy. Doing this is just as if not more important than attracting new customers.
4: Be mindful of your company values and your customers’ values
As more people become more cognizant of and invested in issues relating to the environment, social justices and politics, they’ve come to expect the companies they buy from to take a stand. This is likely to become more true, as members of the millennial generation and gen z occupy a larger percentage of the consumer population. A study from the Harvard Business Review found that 64% of customers cited shared values as the primary reason they had a positive brand relationship.
Whether your customers are regular consumers or other companies, they’re going to want to associate themselves with companies who stand for something. As a result, making company ethics clear can go a long way toward building brand trust.
How can NewtonX help support brand trust?
As the world’s leading B2B research company, NewtonX is the partner of choice for companies looking to make confident decisions with the highest quality data available. Partnering with NewtonX on a qualitative consultative interview or quantitative survey enables you to learn what your prospects are, as well as what your customers like and don’t like about your products.
Our proprietary, AI-driven NewtonX Knowledge Graph scans and verifies an open network of 1.1 billion professionals across 140 industries to find insights and answers to any business question. We go to every corner of the world to connect you with the right sources, delivering 100% verified professionals to give your thinking a flawless foundation. We are the partner of choice for companies hoping to use B2B research to build brand trust.