Cultivating Trust in a Time of Worry
Now more than ever, it’s critical that brands are trusted by consumers. Trust is foundational in any relationship, and it is of heightened importance at any time of uncertainty. Trust is both a logical and an emotional proposition. Trust is about transparency, but also predictability. But how is trust conveyed? Or better yet, how is trust earned?
Four components of trust to focus on:
Competence: is important. It’s how you showcase that you know what you’re doing. But that is table stakes for most established brands.
Connection: Making a connection requires that you speak to the points most meaningful to your target audience, and in a tone they can relate to.
Care: This gets a bit trickier. Many consumer/brand relationships can come off as one-sided, particularly if you’re not in a service industry. A skeptic can say, “Brands only care about getting my money.” In our current phase of total uncertainty, demonstrating how you care about your customers, your employees, your communities and the future of the U.S., when done authentically, can go a long way in prompting people to continue to come back to you.
Candor: No brand wants to admit to being uncertain. But uncertainty is the card we’ve been dealt. Be forthright with what you’re doing to keep people safe, and if you don’t know something, there may be power to admitting that. But be sure to pair that with information on how your brand/company is continuing to gather information, and make informed decisions.
Now, take a look at your current communication efforts. What percentage of these efforts fall into proving your competency? Now, what percentage are about care, connection, concern and candor?
Competence is important, but it’s shallow without deeper elements of a relationship. Come at communication with the whole heart of your brand.