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Brand Trust Is Now An Essential Buying Consideration for Many Consumers

If customers don’t trust your brand, you lose business; it is as simple as that. You only have to look at the recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal and the not-so-recent The Honest Company controversy to see this happening.

Lack of Trust is a Deal Breaker for Brands

Today’s customers have become smarter, thanks to the digital world being at their fingertips. Now, they don’t just demand that your product looks good. They want total transparency from your brand before they commit to opening their wallets for you. In fact, according to a study by Label Insight, about 40% of users claim they will switch from their current brand to another brand if it offers them more transparency.

The same type of response has also been observed in a report by Edelman, which states that 81% of people from all geographies, ages, gender, and income levels consider trust to be a deciding factor when purchasing from a brand.

Marketers may spend millions of dollars on advertising their brand’s product, but the truth now is that customers today don’t trust paid marketing tactics that show celebrities praising a product. They need to be sure themselves that the words coming out of their mouth is the truth.

Trust is becoming more important than ever to customers because of their growing concerns about fast innovation, product experience, and customer experience, including brands collecting user’s personal data and targeting them. Facebook is a prime example of this.

Facebook As An Example Of Lost Trust

Facebook’s usage plummeted last year although the company tried to damage-control by taking other measures to make sure the platform grows. Since April 2018, critical Facebook actions like posts, likes and shares have dropped by 20%. Additionally, the social networking giant continues to lose its younger demographic, particularly the Millennials and Generation Z, who are moving along to other platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.

Trust Washing

One of the most important things to build trust is to stay true to your brand. A lot of people exploit societal issues in order to make more money. Customers are wary of people who give a lot of lip service on a trending social topic, but when push comes to shove, they fail to take any concrete action. Customers today have the uncanny ability to see a brand’s mistake and ask about it. If your response is late or lack-luster, you will get negative feedback and lose the trust you worked so hard to build. Worse, a brand’s marketing campaign can totally backfire if their campaign doesn’t feel authentic by losing the ability to ignite a social revolution. This can lead to trust washing.

Case in point: Actress Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company

The Honest Company Controversy

Alba marketed her lifestyle brand by claiming all her products were natural, baby-friendly, and free of harmful chemicals. However, soon after, the company received complaints from customers claiming her natural sunscreen resulted in severe sunburns and that her laundry detergent contained SLS, which is an irritant for sensitive skin.

As a result, The Honest Company had to drop various brands, change the formulation of their products, and lost its Unicorn status.

Importance of Consumer Trusts

Many surveys show that customers are twice as likely to buy new products from a brand that has their trust. Moreover, these customers become brand advocates that can drive the sales of your product through simple word-of-mouth, which is known to motivate up to 50% of all buying decisions.

Think back to a time when you were blown away by a company’s product and customer experience. Chances are that you still do business with them and look forward to buying new products from them. This is proof of how customer experience works to improve brand retention and loyalty.

Brands are Failing the Trust Test

Even though trust is of utmost importance, brands are failing the trust test, stated the Edelman report. Just one-third of the respondents said that they trust the brands they buy and use and only 21% say they know from their own experience that the brands they use are actually committed to corporate social responsibility.

Today, only the most trusted brands are successful in making a difference in their consumers’ lives. Brands are influencers and have the power to make real change come to life. It is their responsibility to use that power on their customer’s behalf if they want them to follow their cause.

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