Over the last decade since the financial crisis in 2008, the public’s confidence and trust in marketing and brands have been damaged. Over this period there has been much publicity about companies failing to look after and protect their customers. The result of such actions has led to, in many cases, disengagement by customers and switching to alternative brands and organisation types. Other areas, such as central and regional politics, have also witnessed a similar effect, where there is a feeling that opinions and feelings aren’t being sufficiently listened to and dealt with. This has all led to a lot of disengagement and changing attitudes over the last 10 years.
The balance of power has also now firmly swung in the favour of customers from further consumer protection laws, which includes recent changes in data protection (GDPR). Customers are ever more savvy with their buying decisions and processes, along with knowing they are now better protected by enhanced rights.
All businesses are now faced with the challenge of building and/or regaining trust from potential customers, regardless of whether in B2C or B2B environments.
So, how should businesses build or regain trust?
It starts with looking closer to home. Otherwise, reevaluating one’s own business and determining how it needs to change to be relevant and important to its audience. This shouldn’t just be an externally focused perspective but also an internal one too. Your internal customers i.e. your staff, need to be targetted to bring them onboard with the changes. Your best brand ambassadors or advocates aren’t just happy customers/clients, they are your staff too. A force for change starts by looking ‘within’ to discover what improvements are necessary.
Gaining trust from your internal and external customers is the path to achieving loyalty which is the goal of brand success. Both entities need strong brand values to persuade them to trust your business.
There could be a misconception that a business only needs to promote and develop one set of brand values. This in part is true, however, the values which your staff need are more complex. They require a subset of robust values that underpin each of the core values to primarily explain how they can be transposed and demonstrated. This will in turn help towards driving the necessary change and achieving a rebalanced culture.
None of this can be achieved without adequate research.
So now could be a great time to reevaluate your marketing strategy, reviewing all areas of your business, both internal and external, to become ever more in touch with your customers.