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Brand Trust: What It Is, Importance, And More

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Brand trust is the most important strategy you can implement in your business, no matter what type of business it is. By building trust, your customers will remain loyal to you and new customers will feel better about buying you and your product.

Nowadays, when it is normal to look for references on networks before buying a product, your brand must be naturally trustworthy. If your customers comment on your good references and feel good about you, they are also more likely to want to repeat the experience.

Summary

  • The unique nature of your brand will be what sets you apart from the rest, it must be original to stand out in the eyes of your customers and will allow them to differentiate you.
  • The relationship with your customers is the main thing to keep in mind, focus on building trust through interactions with your audience rather than conversions.
  • To achieve a state of trust, you must keep your routine and style consistent. If you persist, you project credibility and expectation, and you just have to live up to it.

What you should know about brand trust

Brand trust literally means confidence in the brand. Delivering on the promises and expectations your brand sets is the ideal way to achieve that trust. Transparency and honesty should be the fundamental characteristic of your business style and your brand.

What is brand trust?

Brand trust is the idea of security that your business conveys to the customer. It is characterized by being a long-term strategy, but one of the most effective. It keeps your customers emotionally linked to your brand for an indefinite period of time and generates loyalty.

“Through trust, long-lasting relationships are achieved, which leads to long-term commitment (1).”

How important is brand trust to a successful business?

The success of your brand will be defined by how much trust your customers place in it. It is those same customers who will communicate their experience with friends and family or through networks. These impressions will trigger a series of opinions that will shape the overall perception of your brand, whether positive or negative.

“Purchase intentions appear more trustworthy as consumer-tested brand trust is higher (2).”

Customers who feel connected to your brand are more likely to purchase your products again. Once you have achieved this status, these customers will not only spread the word about their satisfaction with your business, but they will also advocate for it if the situation calls for it. A regular, satisfied customer will help you boost your brand for free.

What are the fundamental pillars of brand trust?

We will take the 5 dimensions of brand trust established by CONNEXT and explain them in more detail. CONNEXT is a marketing agency specializing in growing online businesses. These are the 5 dimensions of brand trust:

DimensionExplanation
CapabilityCompetence to fulfil its function. Quality that your business possesses to develop its objective or product, efficiently.
ReliabilityYour brand’s ability to deliver what it promises. It is the guarantee of the good performance of your business.
IntegrityMoral and ethical trust are key factors to identify the values with which your brand should be distinguished. The honesty and transparency of your business are essential.
PersonalityThe characteristics that distinguish your brand or business. The particular interests or peculiar qualities that differentiate it from others. The emotional attachment of your customers will be determined by this.

What are users’ reasons for trusting a brand?

  • The quality of the product or service
  • The price, affordability
  • The right experience, customer and employee treatment
  • Positive references
  • Social cause with which it may be associated
  • Environmental impact
  • Years of experience in the market

How to gain trust in the brand?

  • Know your ideal customer: focus your strategy around that customer and improve their customer experience. Make sure you meet their expectations and take care of the communication with the customer.

(…)every single decision made by the consumer is related to feelings (…) When making this type of decision, the consumer does not put so much emphasis on the search for information and gives more importance to his current mood (3).”

  • Be transparent: Your process should be clear, and both your mistakes and your achievements should be exposed to the light to show that you are reliable. Transparency will always be a complement to trust.
  • Be authentic: Customers depend on feelings about a brand, either because of its personality or the values that drive it rather than the product itself. Competition is so wide that only being authentic can differentiate you. Promote your brand values.
  • Have a presence in Social Networks: Currently, social networks are the preferred and most common channel to communicate, your business can not fail to have a presence in them. Engaging with users within the same networks helps to maintain that representation.

“There are times when customers become a brand’s best ambassadors. Marketers have realized the opportunity provided by the power of these social networks(…) (4).”

  • Referrals: After you have established that your products or services are quality, that the consumer experience is optimal and that your brand is unique, your customers will take care of the rest. The various channels of digital communication or word of mouth will allow your customers themselves to ratify the validity of your business.
  • Use tools: When you have built trust in your brand, your customers are satisfied and support you in spreading the word, then you can think about implementing strategies to attract new customers such as direct response marketing. As long as you stay true to the brand trust process.

Types of trust

We have established the importance of your brand or business being perceived as trustworthy, but now let’s analyze what the types of trust consist of. This will give you a better understanding of how to achieve this goal.

Functional confidence

This refers strictly to meeting established expectations, clarifying the customer’s doubts, and guaranteeing the quality of the product or service. The fulfilment of the promises made to the customer is the fundamental basis of the functionality of your business.

“(…)if the promised quality is false, the company would put its future revenues at risk and lose the trust of its customers (5).”

Relational trust

Relational trust encompasses all the interactions your brand has with your customer. The type of relationship, formal or informal, depends on the type of business and the personality of your brand. It is important to establish, through this communication, the customer’s expectations, and answer all their doubts, comments and criticisms with the same tone.

Trust based on the contribution of value

It is related to added value, beyond your product or service. If your brand has an intention, in addition to the functional one, such as a link to a social cause or stands out for its sensitivity, this would be its added value, an extra that differentiates you. We also talk about symbolic value.

“Consumer symbolic value is based on the subjective and intangible evaluation of products and services. The symbolic meaning is linked to products and services that convey to the consumer the ability to reflect toothers who he is, or who he wants to be. Consumers are said to use products to express their self-image to others (6).”

How to maintain brand trust?

Being trustworthy means being able to stand by everything you do, from relationships to product quality. Keeping promises is one way to maintain trust, is to be consistent in this practice and every new element you incorporate into your company’s personality should remain constant.

Consistency is the fundamental element of brand trust. Be proactive and creative when solving problems, this foresees risks that your business may run, both practical and subjective risks, depending on how your brand is perceived. Designating a person or team to handle this task would be a smart move.

Examples

Starbucks

It is a well-known coffee brand, however, if you have tried its coffee, you will know that it is not the best out there, but Starbucks has never guaranteed that it will offer you the best coffee but the best experience. It also shows concern for its environmental footprint, saving water, energy and recycling.

This brand knows its clientele and has clearly defined its personality, always youthful, friendly and approachable, and has been able to maintain this profile throughout time without variety. The loyalty it has shown to its style and its public is what has earned it the trust it currently presents.

Dove

This brand took a different and more comprehensive approach, seeking representation in a much wider audience. It has built its personality around health and beauty for people (mainly women, but not exclusively) of different ethnic groups and ages.

The idea of including a more humanized and flawed vision allowed it to empathize with its potential customers and differentiate itself from other brands, which is why it is currently marketed in a large number of countries and this reach provides reliability.

Nike

Here is an example of being true to your brand’s intention from the start. Nike has been characterized by inspiring the masses, with a sporty style, declaring that we are all athletes. It has designed innovative products with the goal of making its customers’ experience more comfortable, but this experience is also optimized in customer relations.

Nike maintains an enviable social media presence and constant communication with its potential customers and buyers, working together, showing interest in their opinions and answering their questions.

Google

Trusted role model, the search engine of choice, where you first look before you do anything. It is the best example of generating value, its usefulness is unquestionable. The functional trust it projects is undoubtedly remarkable.

It does what it is supposed to do and performs this task flawlessly, this is what Google is known for. By being able to state that it is a feature, we are already taking for granted that it is a constant quality. As we have seen, consistency is the key to maintaining reliability in your brand.

Conclusion

The image of your brand in networks and in the perception of your customers will be determined by the almost personal relationship they feel they have with your business. If your relationship with your customers is favourable or, ideally, exceptional, you will be guaranteed customer loyalty. When it comes to trust, your priority is customer satisfaction.

“(…)when the level of risk associated with the purchase increases, consumers will try to reduce non-conformity and avoid purchasing the product decreasing purchase intentions (7).”

As long as your product or service meets expectations, your only concern will be to maintain your authenticity and repeat the process. Consistency is the key to success once you have established your brand marketing strategy.

References

1. de Obesso Grijalvo AM, San Martín Gutiérrez S, Jiménez Torres NH. The role of reputation, word-of-mouth, trust and uncertainty in bank recruitment. Investig eur dir econ econ empresa [Internet]. 2012;18(3):190-9. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.iedee.2012.05.006 Source

2. González Hernández EM, Orozco Gómez MM, De la Paz Barrios A. Brand equity from the consumer’s perspective Empirical study on brand preference, loyalty and brand experience in high and low purchase involvement processes. Contad adm [Internet]. 2011;(235). Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.22201/fca.24488410e.2011.417 Source

3. Garzón Valdéz G, Ruiz Santoyo GA, Juárez López B. Analysis of trust, loyalty and digital purchase intention of post-millennial consumers. SPACES [Internet]. 2020 Oct 9;41(34):141-54. Available from: http://www.revistaespacios.com/a20v41n34/a20v41n34p10.pdf Source

4. Bazan Silva MP, Barnett Valdivia NJ. The Influence of the Starbucks brand on product value perception. [Facultad de Ciencias Empresariales y Económicas Carrera de Administración]: Universidad de Lima ; June 2021.
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5. San Martín S. The generation of consumer trust in the commercial establishment. A multilevel perspective. European Journal of Management and Business Economics. 15(1):201-24.
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6. Peña García N. Perceived value and trust as antecedents of online purchase intention: the Colombian case. Cuad adm [Internet]. 2014;30(51):15-24. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.25100/cdea.v30i51.39 Source

7. Amraoui L, Páramo Morales D. Relationship between risk and brand trust: an exploratory study in France. Thought & Management [Internet]. 2006 Jul;(20):216-37. Available from: http://www.redalyc.org/articulo.oa?id=64602007 Source

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