Brand Trust: The only metric that matters
What is a brand? It is a culmination of endless variables from your marketing efforts to customer experience and expectations to likelihood to refer, and beyond. But it all comes down to one macro-metric: Brand Trust.
Do you live up to your brand promise? Do you create high expectations and then consistently live up to them? Do you connect with your extended brand community with more than simply intent? Do you prove it every day? When you achieve Brand Trust, you remove the friction that prevents growth and unleash organizational potential.
Building Brand Trust is the holy grail of organizational efforts, yet it is often ignored as a KPI. Why? Because it takes hard work, discipline, and unwavering follow-through. Those who seek the simple path will never achieve it. Those willing to commit long-term will triumph.
Following are some tips to help get there… slowly but certainly.
Build a brand that represents organizational truth, reflects organizational values, and is in alignment with your organizational personality. Say what you do. Do what you say. Create a brand that represents the daily reality and your true culture.
Even bad experiences are made better through communication. Lack of communication leads to customers thinking the worst. Information, no matter how difficult to hear, builds Brand Trust. Create a dialogue. Apologize when needed. You don’t need to be perfect, but you must communicate perfectly.
Is there an issue? Address it and make it an opportunity. Didn’t live up to your own expectations? Own it and provide a plan to improve. Have a situation that is outside of your organizational boundaries? Address it immediately. Trust is earned slowly and lost immediately. It can also be strengthened through challenges.
Your organization is not perfect. Do not attempt to present it that way — it’s an impossible standard that you’ll never live up to. Instead, show your human side. Let people know that you have strong intentions, but sometimes fall short. It’s OK to show weakness and even failure — so long as it represents an opportunity to learn and improve.
One of the foundational elements of Brand Trust is consistency. While products and services change over time, your driving purpose and approach should be evergreen. The voice must be solid. Your values must be stable. The expectation must remain.
Create a bold vision and then co-create with your brand community. Make decisions that move you closer to it. Acknowledge successes. Acknowledge failures on the path. No one (outside of key stakeholders) cares about the bottom line. To create Brand Trust, focus more on the journey to the bold future.
Everyone is focused on purpose and your organizational “why.” It is meaningless unless it guides your decisions, your rituals, your measurables. Take it seriously. Share it broadly. Report on it. Cliches don’t build Brand Trust. Action does.
Trust is earned each day, each moment, each decision. It is the basis of every strong relationship you’ve ever had in life: people and brands alike. If you hold it as the primary goal, it will pay off exponentially. We’ve built our entire process around helping organizations achieve it, maintain it, and build upon it. Why? Because without it, nothing else matters. And with it, all things are possible.