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What is brand trust, and why is it important?

Last updated

25 May 2023

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Dovetail Editorial Team

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Customers are often more likely to choose your brand over a competitor if they have a high level of trust in the quality you offer.

Here’s an overview of brand trust, why it’s important, and the steps you can take to improve your target audience’s trust in your brand.

What is brand trust?

Brand trust refers to the level of confidence your target audience has in your brand’s ability to provide quality products or services, company values, and overall consistency.

Businesses with a high level of brand trust often find it easier to attract and keep customers resulting in better relationships and higher profits.

Why is brand trust important?

Most customers are more likely to buy from brands they are familiar with and trust. This means that taking steps to earn and keep your target audience’s trust is an important step in growing your business.

Brands that meet expectations they set for their customers, promote brand principles that customers support, and do everything they can to build and keep strong reputations are generally more able to use brand trust to their advantage.

Customers expect their experience to meet brand promises

As part of their overall marketing strategy, brands give potential customers certain expectations of what their products, services, customer service, and interactions with their company will be like.

Businesses need to convince their target audience that they are a better all-around choice than their competitors. Those that can do this often make the most sales and profits.

However, it’s important to remember that customers expect businesses to fully deliver on their promises. If a brand doesn’t live up to the customer’s expectations, they’re unlikely to return and purchase again. This high turnover can have a significant negative impact on a brand’s profit and reputation.

Customers buy based on brand principles

Today’s customers often make purchase decisions based on a brand’s principles. They are more likely to want the brands they purchase from to make their opinion on various issues clear. In the past, customers typically preferred companies to be neutral. Now, purchasing products or services from brands that closely align with their values and beliefs has become an important aspect of brand trust.

Customers understand that most businesses stand for something. They are more likely to research these values before making a purchase decision, and they will feel more comfortable supporting businesses that share similar beliefs to them and contribute to causes they support.

Transparency is an important step in building brand trust. If your customers can’t get an insight into what your brand stands for, they may decide not to buy your product or service at all.

Brand reputation plays a key role in purchase decisions

Your brand’s overall reputation is another important factor for your customers when it comes to making decisions about which brands they prefer to buy from. Brands with a strong reputation for providing quality products, professional customer service, and being an overall ethical company typically have an easier time attracting both new and repeat customers.

Some customers may ultimately choose to make a purchase even if they are uneasy about the brand’s reputation. In this case, they’ll base their decision on how well-suited the product or service is to them. However, this means the brand has to rely on customers going against negative public information.

What are the main pillars of brand trust?

Brand trust is built on three main pillars that describe various aspects of how customers view a company. These include perceived ability, perceived benevolence, and perceived integrity.

These pillars describe an important element of how your customers see your business and how their perceptions in that area affect their overall opinion of your brand.

Perceived ability

Trusted brands are capable of doing what they say they do at a high level. They create quality products and services that prove they have the knowledge and skills needed to successfully meet customers’ needs.

The products and services they deliver live up to the standards their customers expect and show they can competently and consistently provide quality results.

Perceived benevolence

Your customers need to trust that your business genuinely cares about them and their experience with your products. They don’t want to feel like you only care about their money and not about how your product benefits them. If that’s the case, they may be less likely to continue supporting your brand.

For example, if your brand never responds to customers’ questions or comments on social media, they might get a negative impression. They might assume you’re not interested in two-way conversations or committed to assisting customers with problems.

In-store employees that are rude to customers, don’t keep the store clean, or avoid making themselves available to answer customers’ questions may also give them the impression that their experience is unimportant.

Going the extra mile to make your customers feel important is a must. Try sharing testimonials and photos from previous happy customers, partnering with causes your customers are likely to support, asking for customer feedback, and engaging with followers on social media. Your goal should be to make them believe you care about their opinions.

Perceived integrity

Your brand’s values also play a key role in determining what your target audience thinks of your business. Your current and potential customers probably want to know that your brand prioritizes ethical production and business practices, supports causes that matter to you, and employs professionalism and integrity when providing customer service. Excelling in these areas can be enough to convince customers to choose your company over one that provides similar products.

How to build brand trust

Your brand can take steps to improve your customer’s experience when you know what it will take to improve their trust.

Helping your target audience develop high expectations of your brand and ensuring their experience comes as close to this ideal as possible is a key step you can take. You can also encourage them to share their positive experiences with others and prioritize providing consistent experiences every time they interact with your brand.

Set expectations

Strong brand trust starts with creating high expectations and meeting them. First, carefully consider what your target audience is likely to want from your products. Be intentional about showing them why your product is an ideal solution for solving a problem or meeting a need.

This can be a good time to showcase your brand values to show your target audience what sets you apart from your competitors. However, remember not to make promises you can’t keep.

Follow through

Once you create intentional opportunities for your customers to form opinions about your brand, living up to them becomes even more important. Consistency is crucial. You need to ensure your customers consistently experience the highest quality you can provide.

Spread the word

Word-of-mouth marketing is a valuable tool for building trust in your brand. Friends, family members, and other close acquaintances of your past customers are particularly likely to trust their opinions.

According to a recent Qualtrics survey, approximately 83% of people are likely to trust the opinions of someone close to them. This can influence the brands they purchase from. Encouraging your happy customers to share details about your brand on social media or in conversations with others can naturally expose more people to your brand that may be likely to support it.

Repeat the process

Staying as consistent as possible is key when it comes to keeping satisfied customers coming back.

Customers that have a good experience with your brand are likely to return the next time they need a similar product or service, but they will expect a similar process and overall experience. They might lose interest and trust if you provide a poor service later that doesn’t uphold the standards your brand previously set. Making every experience as replicable as possible is a must.

Measuring brand trust

Knowing how to use facts to determine the overall level of trust customers have in your brand can help you change how they perceive your business. Here are some of the most common options for measuring brand trust:

  • Sending surveys to recent customers asking them about various aspects of their experience

  • Considering specific factors that may cause past customers to become repeat customers or not

  • Analyzing other types of data from sales and customers to identify areas where brand trust is performing well or could be improved

FAQs

What are the world’s most trusted brands?

Some of the world’s most trusted brands include the following:

  • Band-Aid

  • Alipay

  • Toyota

  • PayPal

  • Google

These brands have provided consistent quality and strong customer service, giving them a strong foundation as brands that customers can trust. They also frequently share information about the causes they support, which increases their popularity among brands that support their benevolence.

What’s the difference between brand trust and brand love?

Brand love simply refers to how much your customers like your brand and its products/services. A customer can love a product without having a high level of trust in the brand that produced it, but striving to create strong results in both of these areas is most effective.

What are the similarities between brand trust and brand loyalty?

Brand loyalty describes the likelihood of past customers returning to a brand they have previously purchased from the next time they want a similar product or service. Customers that have a high level of trust in your brand are generally more likely to continue their loyalty to your business.

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