Building Trust in the Digital Landscape

It doesn’t take a traditional marketer to know that building trust is a huge part of every relationship. It is one thing to be interested in a brand, but quite another to become connected and engage with it. The process that converts a prospective customer into a loyal follower is a multi-faceted feat of branding as well as a dedication to a sustained service approach.

In today’s environment of constant change and fickle tastes – brands can easily endear themselves via powerful positioning and flashy graphics, but quickly fall flat if promises are not backed up. It is enough of a challenge to convince a user to choose one product over another when faced with the multitude of options on the shelves at any given retail establishment, and the digital landscape has pushed this envelope even further.

Put simply, if an organization does not fulfill its promises – it will not thrive.

Offer Service Based Connectivity
The actions and words of a brand are constantly scrutinized under the microscope of social media, which today, is the voice of the consumer. The capabilities, particularly service based, that a brand or business enables digitally create a bridge between the brand and user, which can provide a greater connection to the brands voice and mission.

Providing a 24 hour guarantee on email queries, live chat capabilities and responding to reasonable comments and even complaints via social media are solid starting points. Airbnb is a great example of service through social media – providing support on an almost constant basis to users with immediate issues.

Provide Transparency
An open view into an organization breeds a level of extreme trust not found easily. Whether explaining a manufacturing process in detail, providing clear deliverables on a service or offering true costs of goods sold – these are the aspects that can even go as far as to build a mission and become what a company is known for.

Encourage the Customer Voice
Allowing a customer to speak their mind about an experience – be it positive or negative – is a prerequisite in doing business today. Welcoming community feedback, and truly listening will allow a business to build a superior user experience over time. Professional reviews and glowing PR releases will do work to promote a new launch, however, the customers voice is the most valuable tool in building trust as well as a long-term relationship with the marketplace.

Starting to build a trust structure with these few is critical aspects is important for any business – whether online or brick and mortar. Increasingly, customers simply will not become engaged with a business that will not extend a level of commitment to them. Building rapport with users through a defined attention to their true identity through powerful digital platforms will ensure a lasting and profitable union.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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