Declining Brand Trust: What It Is and How to Fix It

Brand Loyalty

Consumers’ readiness to trust your brand to keep its commitments and meet their demands is known as brand trust. Your audience (often unconsciously) conducts a risk-benefit analysis based on the stated objective of your service, and customers choose if they trust your brand enough to make a purchase.

The degree to which a brand embodies its proclaimed ideals determines brand trust, just as brand equity. While promoting their brand, companies make a lot of claims that must be kept after a sale. For any firm, winning the audience’s trust is a make-or-break proposition.

Delivering a high-quality product offering and utilizing these strategies can help build brand trust.

  • Positive reviews 
  • Open and honest communication 
  • Customer service
  • Cost leadership
  • Philanthropic or social engagement 
  • Company culture 
  • Data security 
  • Time in a product category 
  • Category dominance
  • Consistent customer experience

Customer loyalty is influenced by a brand trust.

Reaching the tipping point of client loyalty also requires building trustworthy relationships with your customers. You need to win over enough confidence to sway the initial buying choice, follow through on your commitment, and repeat the process each and every time. 

The folks who use your brand, again and again, are the ones who trust it most. Building trust from the ground up is effective.

Brand trust boosts reputation and toughness

General public trust in major brands is a crucial component in determining whether they will survive harsh news cycles and reputation-destroying incidents. 

Customers will naturally develop trust in the companies that regularly deliver, so who are they most likely to continue with when bad things happen? Yes, the brand in which people have a great deal of faith. By upholding their basic values, all businesses should work to never betray the confidence of their consumers. However, just in case, the more trust they cultivate, the more effective their preemptive defense against unforeseen unfavorable news cycles and market risks will be.

Why There Is A Decline In Brand Trust Across Industries

In almost every business, hypercompetitive brands have turned brand trust into a commodity. Brands compete for the attention of millions of potential customers in the B2C market. It becomes more difficult to stand out when there are so many brands and so many audiences to appeal to. In B2B, similar dynamics are common.

Some of the main opponents in this story include:

Brutal Battle For Attention

Companies have historically competed with one another for business. Market entrants presented their remedies for prevalent issues, and customers bought them. It was a time when “If you build it, they will come.” That is now over.

True market leaders battle for attention and trust instead of sales. It involves a change in perspective and is a much higher funnel strategy, moving more toward awareness than a transaction. 

But when you concentrate on attention, it becomes evident that this is a brutal conflict. Since audiences are fickle and competition comes from all sides at once, it is crucial to have a genuine understanding of their demands in order to maintain their interest. In today’s fast-evolving digital market, interrupting consumers to collect “attention metrics” just isn’t effective, so brands must change. 

Redefining the competition

When we refer to competition coming from all sides, what we really mean to convey is that a lot of firms are genuinely unaware of their internet rivals. 

Consider Lowes as an example. A superficial examination could lead one to believe that Ace Hardware, Valu Home Centers, and Home Depot are Lowes’ rivals. That is reasonable. These three provide comparable goods and services. However, things aren’t so apparent when you look more closely at what customers are searching for online and the results they are receiving.

Searchers are looking for a wide variety of items that, although they may appear unrelated at first, are in fact related. Even brands that don’t seem to compete with one another do. This is why: 

Consider the Lowes case. Google users could look up terms like “bathroom renovation costs” or “home renovation tips,” which are obviously searches connected to homes. 

When you consider that while these folks are seeking up information about the home, they are also probably looking for ways to finance projects, such home equity loans, things start to get interesting. Despite being in completely separate lanes, Bank of America and Lowe’s are now competitors for consumers’ attention, among other financial institutions. 

Our conclusion is that rival businesses are more than just those with similar product lines. They compete with every other business for the attention of the same audience. From this vantage point, non-conventional brand rivals begin to come into sharper focus. They, who?

Your actual rivals are

  • Brands from completely other industries that are implicitly in competition with you for the same attention are described as gray area competitors in the Lowes example above. These (unexpected) rivals must be regarded as such. Don’t forget about them.
  • Publishers and content hubs — news, media, and blog sites that discuss subjects pertaining to the goods or services offered by your brand. High-quality content like news articles, tutorials, and listicles are used by these to steal crucial attention. This type of content is persistent, eats up valuable real estate, and undermines your brand’s story and credibility.
  • Affiliate websites act as middlemen in the field of content marketing, depriving brands of attention (and money). We refer to them as “frenemies” because, although being an effective tool for directing customers to a brand’s goods, they charge a fee and cling to crucial internet real estate that the company might easily control.
  • Platforms on social media – The “Wild West” of content marketing is social media. This uncontrolled environment attracts a lot of interest due to its lack of moderation, decentralized control, anonymity, and serious bot problem. 
  • Review platforms and sites — Reviews are a huge barrier for brands, not because of bad reviews, but rather because anyone may write them, including trolls, actors acting in bad faith, parties with special interests, bots, etc. Reviews can unfairly harm brand trust since they are presented as authoritative, even when they are unjust or irrelevant.

Empowerment Of Consumers

greater than ever, consumers have greater power. With more options available in the market, individuals may set the conditions of their engagement with companies and hold businesses accountable. Additionally, while overall consumer empowerment has been positive, it has increased pressure on brands to differentiate themselves from the competition and win consumers’ trust. 

It is becoming more difficult to actually stand out and attract the attention of consumers due to the multitude of companies vying for consumer attention as well as the prevalence of non-traditional competition. Gaining trust is difficult if you don’t stand out.

Brands must excel in a few key areas as a result of the change toward consumer empowerment, including customer service, creating a unified customer experience, and keeping their promises. When ignored, these issues prevent the development of trust.

How to keep brand trust from eroding

To become a trusted brand, you must avoid losing trust in yourself. Fortunately, there are steps you can start taking right away. In the end, organizations need a comprehensive strategy that tackles the issue of fragmented marketing to gain and keep customers’ trust.

Adjust your resources

Connecting, optimizing, and aligning all of your brand’s online domains into a connected network is the first step in developing a comprehensive plan. The objectives of various sites (or assets) will vary, but the general aim is to build a network of assets that caters to the audience’s needs whenever and wherever they arise along the customer experience.

Prioritizing the alignment of your brand assets makes sure that all of your marketing initiatives are working toward the same objective and assisting your clients at every step of their journey. A consistent message throughout your online presence enables you to inform, assist in solving issues for, and ultimately connect with your audience. 

To help your brand provide exceptional customer experiences, a key differentiator is a message that is clear, constant, and cohesive across all of your assets.

Own your brand’s story

The brand story you present is a key factor in building brand trust. Your brand has the chance to define itself, its vision, its offerings, and its promises through your story or narrative. It’s also the most crucial component in establishing an emotional connection with your clients. 

A brand story can be taken advantage of and eroded without proper management and defense. Your rivals seek to discredit your story, and non-traditional rivals like media sites and reviews might hurt it. Additionally, fierce competition stealthily reduces your capacity to hold onto market share.

You may claim ownership of your brand story by taking charge of your online assets, creating new ones, optimizing the ones you already have, and regularly bringing this network of assets into alignment. You defend your tale against rivalry and market entropy.

Manage the perception of your brand.

The other facets of your marketing are strengthened, you tell a stronger story, and you provide better consumer experiences when you mend your broken approach throughout your digital assets. Additionally, you actively assume responsibility for your brand’s reputation as a whole.

A brand’s reputation and image can be harmed by rivals, negative news cycles, market conditions, and other uncontrollable causes. The only thing that businesses can do is get ready and develop a solid defense for when issues arise. 

This issue can be resolved by having a completely optimized digital asset network via:

  1. putting an engaging story at the top of search results
  2. lowers bad outcomes in the list of search results
  3. reduces the duration of bad news stories
  4. creates numerous avenues managed by your brand to aid in your recovery after reputational damage

A comprehensive strategy is fantastic since it accomplishes several of the most important brand objectives in a single move. A strong reputational defense tactic, strengthening your brand story through your digital presence enables you to interact with customers and build your organization. 

Other strategies for enhancing brand trust

It is crucial to restore brand confidence as quickly as possible if it has been eroding or has suffered significant damage. There are various methods for doing this:

Inform clients about your special position

Assuming you already occupy a distinctive position, you should constantly remind your current clients, stakeholders, and audiences of this position. Only a small percentage of the most devoted customers require no reminders. Building brand loyalty involves communicating who you are and what you stand for.

Launching promotions, employing owned media or press releases to announce new products, email newsletters and sales follow-ups, redesigning websites, and other strategies are some of the most popular ones. Anything that reminds your audience of your central message and how it was delivered is a terrific reminder.

Know how your customers behave.

Understanding consumer behavior is one of the less obvious but crucial components of interacting with your customers. 

If you know where to search, Google may serve as your own personal focus group. From the very top of the funnel to the very bottom, it can reveal what prospective and current clients are seeking. This information can help establish the story your brand should tell, the demographics it should target, and the timing (and location) of its deployment.

Finding the best brand story and content strategy to engage consumers might be difficult without this expertise.

Improve your brand’s principles and promise.

Brands may always update and improve their basic promises and values. Sometimes your audience simply doesn’t agree with your current stance, or perhaps your target market and brand have changed. This occurs frequently and for a variety of causes. Whatever the case, improving your values and commitments will help you build stronger customer relationships.

Exercise sincerity, openness, and constancy

How your audience views your brand is a key component of brand trust. This is clear. It is less evident that brands must always uphold the principles of authenticity, transparency, and consistency regardless of the client touchpoint. 

Winning businesses present a genuine story based on honesty and consistency from the moment a customer engages with the company through closing the loop on support following a transaction. Without a thorough and consistent approach, trust will not easily grow.

Fulfill Your Commitments

If your brand isn’t fulfilling those promises through its offering, then no matter how powerful your brand story and content strategy are, they are useless. 

Because of this, not only must your services meet the standards set by your clients, but your position and story must also be consistent. Telling a tale you can truly deliver on is a part of honing your brand values and promise. An excellent tale is necessary for an exceptional product. The opposite is also accurate.

Control Your Social Proof

Finding the areas where your clients are most satisfied with your brand and turning that satisfaction into the social proof is crucial. Customer pleasure creates social proof, which is the narrative of the brand and actual customer experience. 

Don’t waste this important resource. Make use of the positive word-of-mouth and buzz surrounding your business to enhance your offerings, positioning, and marketing approach. Also, let people know how much they appreciate what you do. 

Make the brand advocates who leave favorable feedback from customers. A strong psychological factor that increases confidence is the positive attitude and testimonies of unbiased parties.

Last Thoughts

In a battle over an ongoing and changing marketing plan, building a strong brand story is a useful weapon as competition heats up. With this narrative, a fantastic product or service that fulfills the brand’s promises, and alignment across the brand’s digital infrastructure, it is possible to stand out as the industry leader. 

Although there are various ways to establish trust, the best strategy involves identifying your target market, creating engaging content that connects with consumers, and encouraging positive interactions that keep them coming back for more.