What Is Brand Trust and How to Make It Work for Your Business
The way people feel about your business matters. It doesn’t just impact your reputation. It also affects your bottom line.
Let’s explore best practices for how you can build brand trust and create lasting, rewarding relationships with your customers.
What is brand trust?
Brand trust measures how much confidence customers have in your business. It reflects whether or not your brand consistently delivers on its promises and stays true to its values.
Here are 5 top reasons why shoppers trust brands:
Delivers quality products or services
Receives good reviews and ratings
Charges a fair price
Treats customers well
Quickly handles customer service issues
Why is building brand trust important?
Do you want shoppers to continue buying your products? Do you want people to leave great reviews? Do you want customers to recommend your online store to their friends and family? You can achieve all of this by building brand trust.
Brings value to customers. What do you put first: your customer or your profits? People know when you see them as just another dollar sign. They may still buy your product, but this doesn’t encourage loyalty or repeat sales. Instead, product trust focuses on bringing value. What is your unique selling point? How can you help customers with a pain point? Define your customer’s needs and solve them.
Impacts buying decisions. What drives customers to keep coming back to your brand? Trust. Customers who trust your brand are more likely to buy from you. Once you have their trust, they will continue to support your business. This increases the lifetime value of a customer.
Builds brand loyalty. When your brand consistently delivers on quality, credibility and reliability—it reaps huge benefits. Customers will go to your brand first and repeatedly whenever making a purchase.
Creates brand advocates. A happy customer becomes a loyal customer. And, a loyal customer speaks out. They become your advocates. They will go out of their way to promote your business and tell others about their positive experience. This type of word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful way to build the reputation of your business and attract new customers.
How to Gain Brand Trust
Brand trust takes time, but it pays off long term. Returning customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their initial purchase. Acquiring a new customer can cost five times more than retaining a current one.
01. Offer Consistent Customer Service
You’ll need to earn the trust of your audience over time to build brand loyalty. Plan out every interaction with customers. This starts from the moment someone hears about your brand, onwards.
Build awareness. From your business' first impression, you're building brand awareness. Focus on being educational and helpful, not transactional. Provide informative, engaging content using video or blogs. This will establish your brand as an industry thought leader.
Provide an excellent customer experience. Always look for ways to improve customer experience. Design a user-friendly website. Find ways to streamline the checkout process, with flexible payment options or quick add to cart features. People will pay for the convenience.
Make it easy for customers to connect. Be accessible when customers want to reach you. If you don’t respond quickly, you can lose a potential buyer. Include your business contact information like physical address, email and phone. You can also add an online contact form. Alternatively, set up Wix Forum and build an online community around your business.
Maintain relationships with loyal customers. In a test of over 284 million site visitors, we found that customers who received follow-up responses from a business were 42% more likely to make a purchase. Make sure to stay in touch with customers after a purchase by sending thank you, follow-up and other automated emails.
Set measurable goals at every touch point. Use analytics to monitor success and areas in need of improvement. With Wix, you can view your site traffic and store analytics. Use this data for insights on where you can improve your purchase funnel, customer experience and service. For example, a high-rate of abandoned shopping carts may be a sign of a tedious checkout flow or site loading problems.
02. Build Brand Authenticity
Authenticity means staying true to your brand’s core values. This helps your business gain credibility with your customers.
Stick to the following 3 R’s when building brand authenticity:
Reliable: Provide quality goods and services. Deliver on your promises every time.
Respectful: Put the customer first. Focus on bringing value. Always look for ways to improve the customer experience.
Real: Speak to your customers in an authentic, human voice. Keep it conversational, in a way that feels personal and trustworthy. Global businesses can use localization or offer services in different languages to improve their customer experience.
03. Share Your Business Values
Trust is based on two factors: competence (delivering on promises) and ethical behavior (doing the right thing and helping to improve society).
Yes, you need to provide a quality product and excellent customer service. But things like corporate responsibility, sustainability, privacy and social awareness matter now more than ever. 86% of people want companies to stand for social issues, and 66% of shoppers would spend more on a product made by a sustainable brand.
Business values especially matter with younger shoppers. Millennial and Gen-Z customers account for $350 billion of spending in the U.S. Increasingly, these customers “back their beliefs with their shopping habits”. They favor brands that are aligned with their values and avoid those that don’t.
Today’s customers want a brand that:
Protects their data and privacy
Promotes environmental impact
Prioritizes the customer over profit
Supports social wellbeing and ethical supply chains
Donates to social causes and charities
Here are some ways to get started:
Create a brand mission. Clearly state what you stand for.
Promote your cause on your website and social.
Publish blog articles about your brand values.
Team up with local charities and influencers that share your values.
04. Build Your Reputation through Word-of-Mouth
Satisfied customers talk. They leave positive reviews online. They tag their photos with branded hashtags. They make videos using your product. They recommend your business to friends.
This peer-to-peer marketing pays off. Research shows that up to 92% of shoppers trust peer recommendations. On average, a satisfied customer will share their positive experience with 11 people. Multiply that by thousands and you just gained huge potential for brand loyalty and customer retention.
Tap into that potential by encouraging social proof and sharing. Provide a quality product and service that your customers will recommend. Then, get loyal customers to speak up:
Provide a place on your website to submit feedback.
Post testimonials on your website and social channels.
Look for influencers in your industry with a large following. Hire them as brand advocates to promote your products.
Encourage user-generated content on social media through branded hashtags, giveaways and contests.
Needs some inspiration? Check out, Starbucks’ #WhiteCupContest. The coffee giant asked fans to design their own cups and share on Twitter with branded hashtags.
Naked Wines can show you how it’s done too. The online wine retailer focuses on authentic messaging and consistent customer experience to build brand loyalty. Their efforts make them one of the most trusted brands, resulting in a 67% sales jump.
How’d they do it? They use a welcoming tone of voice, referring to their 100,000+ loyal customers as “Angels”. Their loyalty program rewards “Angels” with discounted wine prices and access to regional wine-tastings. They back their brand with millions of positive reviews and shopper testimonials. They even built a platform for customers to speak directly to wine-makers and support local businesses.
So now it’s your turn. Always remember that a good brand serves the customer. Think of revenue and profits as a byproduct of putting your customer first. That's what gets people to trust you. If your brand stays true to its values, you’ll attract devoted customers.
Allison Michelle Dienstman