Having brand trust not only makes your company stand out as a leader in its industry, but it also allows customers to feel reassured about any products or services purchased from you. Yet, creating brand trust is often harder than it may seem, as it’s something that’s done over a potentially long period of time.
So, how can you create brand trust in the most effective way possible? To help, nine industry experts from Ad Age Collective share their top methods for creating brand trust in a new company looking to establish itself and its relationship with its customers.
1. Start with who really matters.
You might want to consider starting by defining your key customer profile—the client you believe your business can best serve, who could really build an awesome brand reputation for you. You will need to set parameters of excellence (the touchpoints, contents and activities) for the experience that can surprise and mesmerize them. Engage them to talk about you, and then get out of the way. - Marcello Magalhaes, Speakeasy - Knowledge Brokers
2. Move from ‘I think’ to ‘I know.’
People trust brands that align with their desires in an authentic way. How do you figure that out? Research, spend time diving deep to understand who you are, why your clients love you, what it is that your potential clients are looking for and how you are different from the competition. Once you understand this, you can deliver in an authentic way to your employees, clients and potential clients. - Aaron Vandergalien, Deksia
3. Focus on the value the brand can bring.
Brand trust is created by dropping the marketing push and instead focusing on what insightful, helpful approach this brand can bring to customers. Offer real change and benefits from the brand, without expecting something back. It creates a meaningful relationship with that brand without all that marketing hype, which in the end is just hype. People want and expect realness. - Shana Starr, Bastion Elevate
4. Get third-party validation.
Third-party validation is the best way to create trust, especially with a young brand that hasn't established itself yet. This can easily be done through customer testimonials, reviews, endorsements with influencers or celebrities, third-party studies and anything leveraging a trusted brand to approve of yours. - Erik Huberman, Hawke Media
5. Start on the inside.
When employees clearly understand what the company stands for and have the flexibility to make rapid decisions in accordance with those values, then a company is halfway toward establishing brand trust. As ambassadors of the brand, employees visibly react to changing circumstances with authenticity and freedom. Once external stakeholders see this consistency, then you have brand trust. - Reid Carr, Red Door Interactive
6. Live your brand promise by showing, not telling.
It’s almost the same way people build trust in each other. A brand is a promise that must be fulfilled. They have to be true to their core. Brands can’t just ask or hope for trust. They do what they say and say what they mean. The mantra for the planet's most trusted brands is simply show don’t tell—live your brand promise every day through actions, and do so over time versus a point in time. - Marc Landsberg, SOCIALDEVIANT
7. Look at the brand's purpose and values.
To earn brand trust, we first look at (or identify) a brand's purpose and values. If that is solid, we test every action, campaign and message against it. Stay true to who you are—it’s the best and only way to build trust. Consistency, relevance and support of your employees and audience are critical factors throughout. - Maggie O'Neill, Peppercomm
8. Leverage strategic storytelling.
In the realm of a good story, your mind is more trusting. Good stories release a cocktail of neurochemicals in the brain that simultaneously increase focus and empathy. When we are caught up in a good story, our minds are exactly where advertisers want us: paying attention and full of good feelings that attach to the focus of that attention. The more empathy we have, the more trust we'll build. - Alexander Jutkowitz, SJR
9. Invest in great design.
A lot of new companies make the mistake of not investing in design early on. It's impossible to create trust without great design because, subconsciously, people associate great design with legitimacy. People will trust what's familiar to them, and standards for design have never been higher than they are today. - Michael Lisovetsky, JUICE