“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
Zig Ziglar, the famous sales guru, made this popular quote decades ago. However, its significance seems to be more relevant than ever. Today, people report being much more likely to buy from brands they can trust. In fact, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020, trust was second only to price when it came to the factors that affect a buying decision. The same survey from the previous year showed that 81% of people need “brand trust” before they are willing to buy from them.
This goes for well-known brands as well as small-to-medium sized organizations. Your brand may not be instantly recognizable, but because information has never been easier to access, all anyone needs to make an educated buying decision is just a click away.
So, the real question becomes what does it take to develop the credibility and reliability needed to grow your brand’s trust?
How do brands build trust?
The best way for a brand to build trust is through solving problems for customers. In fact, research shows that 85% of people rate solving problems as the most important factor for building trust. This makes it even more critical that companies stop focusing on just selling products and start providing solutions.
The issue then becomes how do you promote that problem solving to a larger audience to force multiply that credibility.
Brand trust can be earned
According to the Edelman report, about 60% of people report that earned media, outside of their own personal experience, was the single most important factor in either gaining or losing trust.
For B2Bs this presents a powerful value proposition for PR articles that appear in trade publications. These articles can highlight how you solved a critical problem for your customer; saving them time and/or money, increasing production, added safety for their process, etc.
To add even more credibility to those PR articles, include a testimonial from a customer. This offers that word-of-mouth validation that is one of the most impactful forms of persuasion. In fact, 92% of people say they find the information coming from a third party as more believable. So, let your happy customers explain how you solved a pressing problem.
Can’t buy me “trust”
While earned media is the number one way to develop trust, the Edelman report indicates that paid media, like advertising, continues to show diminishing returns. 70% of respondents say that they use one or more advertising avoidance strategies. This is significantly more than just two years prior with ad blocking technology up 10 percentage points. Other avoidance tactics trending upward included paying for streaming services; up 15 percentage points. In addition, finding ways to avoid almost all ads increased by 12 percentage points.
The report did highlight some areas where advertising was hitting the mark. More than 60% of people appreciate when brands promote the ways in which they are assisting others through the pandemic.
Summary: Brand Trust
Brand trust has been a focus for consumer facing brands for years. Now, it is critical that B2B organizations become more aware of how brand trust impacts their bottom line. Regardless of whether you are B2B or B2C, it turns out that people who highly trust a brand will reward them with loyalty, engagement, and advocacy.
“Trust is now the make or break difference for brands,” concluded the Edelman report.