Building trust in your brand is one of the most important objectives you have in business. If you think about it, trust is really the difference between having a business and a brand. Branding is all about your reputation, how the market perceives you, and what clients come to expect when they work with you. The funny thing about trust is that the more you SAY you are trustworthy, the more skeptical folks become. Trust can really only be conveyed by actions, which is why it requires deliberate focus.
Let’s discuss a few simple yet often overlooked ways to build brand trust.
BUILDING BRAND TRUST, THREE WAYS:
Strategy: Every brand wants to convey trust, so how do you stand out and differentiate when everyone is yelling, “TRUST ME!”
You must understand who you are- at a deep soul level and your clients at a deep soul level.
We see many brands that have nailed one side of this, and some that don’t know either very well. On the “know thyself” side of things, you need to know and be able to articulate:
- What your brand stands for
- What values do you live by
- Why should we care? What makes you special and unique?
- Your personality
- The features and benefits you provide (of course).
On the flip side, you need to know more than your market’s demographics. You need to understand:
- Their past life experiences (especially in your industry)
- Their perceptions
- How they research purchases
- Where they hang out
- What makes them laugh, cry, angry…
- What they care most about
- And so much more
One way we work through this process is by using Brand Archetypes. Archetypes provide us with characteristics and context to better humanize the dynamic between businesses and consumers. When we understand both sides of the coin and can tell a story about it, it becomes much easier to create siren-song messaging that has YOUR people running towards you. When consumers feel like you truly, genuinely understand them, they will trust you.
Visuals: Building trust visually is quite simple, but it can be challenging without the right tools. Visual trust often comes down to consistency. You must use your visual assets the correct way, every single time. Having visual guidelines used company-wide and with outside vendors representing your brand is the best way to ensure this happens. Visual consistency means more than using your logo properly. It includes things like:
- Use a consistent image style. All your photos, from your website to Instagram, must be consistent. If you’re going to use a filter- use the same one for all platforms.
- Pick up to 3 fonts (maximum) and stick with them
- Use the same 2 or 3 patterns or background textures consistently
- Create a handful of Canva templates that match for social media posts
Website: Our reptilian brain is on a lifetime mission to quickly (within seconds) process information and assess risk. It is a neat feature if you find yourself in the middle of a pack of wolves who are ready to attack. But, when it comes to analyzing a website, it is much less conscious or urgent. But this is how it works- if we look at something that isn’t cohesive or doesn’t match our expectations, our brain signals “DANGER,” and we feel mistrust. So, in the website world, if you use strong headlines with a bold message combined with whimsical soft pastel colors, your brain starts signaling something like, “This doesn’t match. It’s a lie! Danger! Run!” And that is where higher-than-average bounce rates come from. Other examples of this might include:
- Saying you have a straight-to-the-point approach, but you use curvy, flowy lines between content sections
- Being a feminine brand that serves women but uses a masculine or aggressive font
- Saying you provide clarity, and having a website that is confusing to navigate
Make sure to assess all your external touchpoints, including your website, to ensure they match the personality and voice of your brand.