The Experts Speak
Most business owners don’t really think about long marriage with customers. They are focused on income not equity. Income tends to be spent. Equity accumulates and converts to wealth. As the interactions between customers and brands have increased in both speed and volume, trust has become even more paramount. If I tell you that you look pale and you might need a heart surgery, you are most likely to just go home and take a nap. But if a heart specialist makes the same pronouncement, you would yell “Go!”
People have an underlying, on-going anxiety and angst about almost everything -from the news they watch, to the food they eat, to virtually everybody from whom they get advice, services and products. It’s known as “defensive driving.”
Many of us left our houses’ doors locked; we lock our cars when parked out. We feel a level of unease, threat, outside and even at home. We know we are trusting people and things unworthy of trust. We are very often disappointed, sometimes harmed and we expect more of the same. We are not just defensive drivers; we are defensive, period.
But few advertisers and marketers focus on this advantage. Instead, they rely on cute or humour based advertising ads, lower and discount positioning, or classic product-centric presentations.
The Defensive Drivers to Consumer Trust
- Is this guy for real? (Authenticity)
- Is he knowledgeable and competent? (Credibility)
- Is he listening or just peddling? (Customized Solutions)
- Do I understand enough about what he’s going to do for me? (Familiarity)
- Am I making the best choice vs other choices? (Superiority)
- Am I paying A Fair Price? (Value)
In a world this complicated, it is hardly surprising that experts have become our guides, shaping our buying habits, health decisions and public policy debates.
A third party endorsement can position a new brand that it’s poised for growth or, conversely can blunt a serious problem before it gets out of hand and proves disastrous for a particular product or for a company overall.
The harder the trust is to get in the first place, the more vital it is within that community, and the more valuable its viral nature is. This is why it is a worthwhile to scheme to gain the trust of key centers of influence within any target group in which you seek to develop a clientele.