While building your business, trust is very important for long term success.
Even more so than sales.
Getting customers, clients and employees to trust you can be very complicated but it’s a must have.
If you lose it, it’s very difficult — if not impossible — to restore it.
So how can you build trust with your customers?
In 2017, this Edelman research found that 60% of people worldwide trust information about a company from their friends and people like them far more than they trust a CEO.
That’s the power of recommendation.
Today, most of your intended audience are communicating with their friends and family through social media, a powerful tool business owners are using to build trust.
It’s also a practical tool for companies to build a community of genuine supporters.
We’ve seen an increasing number of brick and mortar businesses move online, especially fast tracked by the events of the past year.
You can build trust online based on how you communicate, engage and serve.
This can be done through your websites, blog, social media, comments and much more.
Building trust is one of the one you can define your brand identity.
You need to be sincere, respectful, authentic, helpful, consistent, reliable, supportive, committed and well-intentioned, like a real friend.
Defining Your Brand Identity
We’ve often seen the terms “brand” and “logo” used interchangeably.
Although creating a logo is the first step towards developing a strong brand identity, it is not the entirety of the brand’s identity.
With millions of businesses in the UK trying to stand out from their competitors, having a strong brand identity has become crucial for businesses to stand out from their competitors.
If you’re working towards developing your business’ brand identity, it’s important also understand how this helps to build trust with your clients.
Why Is It Important To Define My Brand Identity?
Did you know that your brand identity can be created without you even trying?
Whether you like it or not, your actions define you and will paint the picture of what your brand actually is.
Defining your brand identity is a process which two characteristics:
- It is intentional
- It takes consistency
Without intentionally and consistently building your brand, you might be doing more harm than good.
Not to fret, that’s why we’re here.
Below, we’ve put together 10 important steps to creating a brand identity that is trustworthy and honest.
10 Steps To Creating A Brand Identity That Builds Trust
1. Have a Clear Value Proposition
Did you know that a simple way to convert visitors into paying customers is through your value proposition?
According to QuickSprout, “a value proposition is a sentence that tells your visitors why they should buy from you and not your competitors.”
A good example of this is Uber’s value proposition:
“always get the ride you want”.
Your value proposition represents your purpose as a business. It communicates to your customers what you can do for them.
It should be well thought out, fully researched and very well understood by your intended audience.
If not, it could damage your relationship and their trust in you.
Despite the important role that value propositions play, research from QuickSprout shows that more than half of businesses – 54% – do nothing to optimize their value propositions.
Take out some time to analyze where your firm fits into the lives of your intended customers
- What are the specific challenges your product/service was designed to meet?
- How can you express them clearly to your target audience?
- What makes you stand out from the competition?
- What are the market trends for your product?
Determining your unique value proposition helps to build a strong base for your brand identity.
2. Understand Your Customers
One of the biggest dangers a company can do is to ignore their biggest fans, the customer.
The client will tell you what is wrong, right, and needs improvement.
Additionally, innovation nowadays is so customer focused that you can gain an edge on your competitors if you just open your ears.
Understanding your customers is key to building brand trust.
The more you know about your customers appreciate or don’t appreciate about your current business processes, the more targeted and effective your online presence can be.
- What are you customers saying online and offline?
- What platforms are your customers using?\
- What is the best way to communicate your message? Is it video, audio, images or text? A key part of your online platform selection should be user experience. Is it easy to use, simple to navigate and straightforward?
To truly understand, you need to listen, listen and listen more.
3. Leverage Reviews and Testimonials to Build Brand Trust
Reviews are useful for social proof.
They help to remove most psychological barriers related to trust of a product or service.
Before someone purchases a product or service from your business, they might go online to verify that previous customers have had a positive experience working with you.
As psychologist and social proof writer Robert Cialdini puts it, “we view a behavior as more correct in a given situation to the degree that we see others performing it.”
The more people eating at a restaurant, the better we assume it is.
The whole idea of social proof goes back to building authenticity and brand trust.
And it’s a big deal. In fact, 60% of consumers said user-generated content (UGC) is the most authentic form of content – 3X more authentic than brand-created content.
There are plenty of ways brands can use social proof, including:
- Displaying follower counts, subscribers, fans, etc.
- Collecting reviews and testimonials
- Collecting user-generated content
- Working with an influencer
Collecting social proof can seem like an uphill battle.
Start small and in no time, you will have a lot of reviews to attest your good work.
Conduct a Brand Audit
The most efficient process of building a brand identity involves a complete brand audit.
A brand audit can be likened to an accounting audit.
In this stage, every element of your brand is reviewed critically.
The elements you will examine include your company culture and your design elements.
- UX interface
- Social media
To review your brand audit, take the following steps
- Examine what your online presence looks like.
- Examine what your offline presence looks like.
- Examine what your customers are saying about your brand
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle
Study the Competition
Your business is not operating in a bubble but rather is functioning in a complex industry with many players.
Therefore, it is key that you conduct a thorough market research to develop a guide for what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some important questions to ask:
- Who are the big players in the market?
- Who are your closest rivals?
- What are the top trends in your industry being followed?
- Engage in online research to see the general consensus about your industry and the players.
- Don’t be afraid to discuss with other firms and competitors. You could gain some valuable insight from them.
- Make a report of the industry’s best and worst practices.
Develop Your Brand Messaging
Words and visuals are used to express market offering.
As a business owner, you have to create a clear strategy on how to communicate this to the world.
When it comes brand messaging you have what works and doesn’t work.
What does your most loyal customer identify with, when it comes to your brand?
You could realize that your attractive packaging is what first caught their attention.
In the case of Nike, they ran with their signature “Just do it”, slogan for years which resulted in easy identification of their brand regardless of the product they put out.
- Outline the features of your brand identity including the logo, slogan, fonts, diction, etc.
- Run a few experiments to determine the most attention grabbing feature and the feature that could use some improvements.
- Get expert opinions to standardize your brand messages.
Enhance Your Brand’s Creative Elements
- You have developed a clear value proposition.
- You understand your customers and competitors
- You have done a complete brand audit.
- You have developed your brand messaging.
Now is the time to focus on those creative elements of your brand ranging from your logo, UX web design, packaging, marketing content, and so on.
Using the information gathered you should focus on your areas of improvement.
- Make a budget including both resources and time to be allocated to your brand identity development.
- Develop a plan on the creative elements to target and your expectations.
- Make a decision to get the development done in-house or outsource it to affordable professionals who can meet your deadlines (link from affordable to our site).
Be Future Oriented
Andy Rubin had this to say about one of the best companies in the world, “In projecting the future, I think Apple did a good job of figuring out when the technology was ready to be consumer grade.”
When it comes to your brand, what do you want it to look like in 10 or 20 years from now?
How do you want your clients and employees to feel about your brand?
This helps in your internal decision making which will enable you to pick up on trends faster and pivot towards that more valuable proposition.
It is a question of whether you want to be the Nokia or Apple of your industry.
- Tour through latest trade shows and conventions in your industry where you will find the frontier technology and practices being used.
- Experiment with new ideas and test them in the market gradually.
- Think ahead of existing trends but don’t reinvent the wheel.
Test Your Brand Perception
This is the most exciting part of creating a brand identity.
Since you have so many ideas and plans, they shouldn’t go to waste.
They should be implemented as soon as possible.
Test, test, and test.
For instance, according to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, using a signature colour can increase brand recognition by 80%. This means out of the thousands of color palettes available, you have to stick to one.
However, you won’t know which colour is suitable for your brand unless you put them in front of your customers.
- Implement small changes and measure the consumer’s reaction.
- Employ experiments with design like A/B testing.
- Collect consumer opinions through surveys and interviews
Like your sales and expenses, you need to keep a close eye on your brand identity to know what you are doing wrong or right.
Not every decision you make will be the right one and having a Google Analytic tool or a Lucky Orange analytic tool will show you the before and after of your changes made.
- Check whether a recent change you made in your brand, like a change in customer support channel, has had a positive or negative impact.
- Discuss these changes with your customers and gauge how they feel
- Maintain the correct brand changes on the other brand elements to maintain consistency.
The world is becoming more connected and automated.
This creates the opportunity to achieve massive scale but the competition has drastically increased also.
If you are going to stand out from your competitors, then you need to have a trustworthy brand.
Make it a priority!
Your customers will see the difference and so will you.
It’s a strategy that not only brings them into the door but will keep them with you for years to come.
Having a website that showcases your products/services, reviews and contact information is a great way to build brand trust.
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