Brand Trust

As a sixth grader in home economics, I was assigned to write a letter to a company about one of their products. The idea behind the assignment was simply to help us understand how to write and format a professional letter. I remember the excitement I felt when I got a response in the mail from the company I wrote to– until I opened it. Only thirteen years old, I was traumatized when I read that the company did not appreciate my letter (which suggested the company produce a diet version of a certain cake product – which of course now exists), and claimed if I wrote again they would be forced to take some sort of action. I laugh now, but I also wonder if I would resend my letter today, or posed my suggestion on their Facebook wall – would I receive the same response? 

I don’t think I would. Today, companies understand the importance of a relationship between their brand and their clients. According to a great article Is “Brand Trust” An Oxymoron?, Trust = Reliability + Credibility + Intimacy + Self Orientation.

When this article was posted in 2008, author Charles H. Green wrote,

…two elements of the Trust Equation—intimacy and self-orientation—are inherently personal attributes, not corporate or product-related. We don’t share our feelings with a brand, or worry that our brand is self-focused and not paying enough attention to us. That would be silly.

Or would it?

Today, there is no question about it. Social Media has enabled brands to embrace the personal aspects of the trust equation. Before the social media revolution, these components of the trust equation were missing and brands had to believe in the reliability and credibility of their product. They did not hear what clients were saying – and they did not feel a need to. But, now everyone wants to share their opinions with the brand, and they can. Using social media can help build trust between a brand and its customers. Listen to what people are saying about your brand, and respond to them. There is now great opportunity to engage with your customers and prospects, and put a face behind the brand. Make sure you’re taking full advantage of the tools to do so. 



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August 2011
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