Lesson 3: Trust

Posted 19 Feb 2020

In a crisis, the market sees straight through “virtue wrapping”

Consumers store trust and distrust in brands. Evidence of consumer trust is their preparedness to regard a brand’s occasional imperfect behaviour as an aberration (for example, the exploding Samsung Galaxy Note 7).

From both an acquisition and retention perspective, the genesis of measuring the damage and then embarking on the long road of rebuilding trust begins with deconstructing it to establish what performance attributes – both perceived and experienced – will build trust.

Claims designed to build trust need to be tested with the target market for plausibility and coherence. Conspicuous good deeds and virtue wrapping do not build trust, but rather burn up in consumers’ well-honed zone of cynicism.

An organisation must deconstruct trust by establishing the drivers that relate specifically to who they want to trust them and for what purpose. From a modelling perspective, useful dependent variables include capability, ethics and benevolence.

It is vital to understand what drives trust for your brand and category, and earnestly operate to build a bank of stored trust. You must also appreciate that these banked reserves represent a present and, moreover, future value.

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