A 10-Step Guide To Making Customers Trust Your Brand
Did you know that 80% of your sales come from just 20% of your customers?
At least that’s what the Pareto Principle (also called the 80/20 Rule) suggests. Getting new customers is great, but having repeat customers is awesome. And here’s why:
- The cost of acquisition for a new customer is 6-7 times greater than the cost of selling to an existing customer
- Repeat customers spend, on the average, 33% more than new customers
- Your loyal customers are 107% more likely to refer your business to a friend, compared to non-customers
- Over a period of 3 years, your repeat customers are likely to give you 8 to 12 times greater profits than your first-time customers
It’s no wonder that brand marketers have been choking on the term “brand loyalty” for some time now.
In an increasingly competitive world, no business can afford to find new customers every day. Your best bet is to retain the trust of old customers just as you look for new ones.
Trust Comes Before Loyalty
In order to have loyal customers, you must first have a brand that your customers can trust. Honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness are the most important behaviours people look for in brands.
Here’s a 10-step guide to building an honest and trustworthy brand that your customers trust.
1. Create Customer Personas
Branding, like all other marketing activities, starts with your customers. In order to learn more about your customers, it is important to know them better. You can ask yourself these questions to create personas for your customers:
- Who buys your product/service?
- What benefits do they seek from your product?
- Where do they live?
- What is their age, gender, profession, lifestyle?
- Where do they do in their spare time?
The answers to these questions will give you a good starting point for defining your customer’s persona. If you can build brand attributes that your customers want in your brand, they will trust your brand more.
2. Create Brand Attributes
If a brand is a person, attributes are the traits that define that person. Would you like to come through as friendly, helpful and sincere? Or would you like to be considered smart, resourceful and capable? How about being fun, bold and courageous?
The attributes you choose will really depend on what you offer and what your customers like you for. Once you have identified the attributes you want to build into your brand, you can share them with your customers. This is where your brand messaging comes in.
3. Have a Brand Voice
Depending on the brand attributes, you will define a tone of voice for your brand. Just like you can identify different individuals by the way they communicate with you, your customers should be able to tell it’s your brand talking.
A simple formula for defining your brand’s voice is to select three attributes that express how you will talk to your customers. Then, select three more attributes that limit the attributes you selected earlier. For example:
- ‘Friendly’ but not ‘personal’
- ‘Bold’ but not ‘arrogant’
- ‘Convincing’ but not ‘forceful’
Make sure your brand voice stands out from your competition and relates to your customers’ voice. Hence, if your customers are serious-minded businessmen, you probably shouldn’t have comic brand tone.
4. Offer a Consistent Experience
Would you say a Big Mac tastes amazing? Maybe it does. But what you can say for sure is that it tastes the same every time. McDonald’s golden arches stay the same colour and shape whether they are in Australia or in the USA. Consistency is the key to building effective brands.
It’s not just your logo and color scheme that need to be consistent. To be trusted, your brand should offer a consistent experience whenever and wherever a person engages with it. Only then your customers will trust your brand and talk about your brand.
5. Fulfil the Brand Promise
Make sure you deliver what you say in your brand communication.
You’ll never be able to earn your customers’ trust if your brand doesn’t deliver on its promise. You have to walk the talk, as they say. Impressive brand slogans and design will be no good for your brand if your product doesn’t deliver the benefits the customer expects it to deliver.
So, if Dominos say, ’30 minutes delivery guarantee’, they deliver within 30-minutes or give you a free pizza.
6. Offer Bonus Value
Great brands don’t just satisfy their customers. They delight them by delivering more than what was promised. Bonus value can come from special offers, refunds, loyalty programs, guarantee, etc. Getting more than they were promised lets customers feel you care about them. It builds trust and loyalty.
7. Communicate With Your Customers
Customers trust companies that they perceive to be transparent and honest. Your brand messaging should make your customers feel that you’re not hiding anything. Be willing to open doors and answer questions. Make sure your employees are able to answer the customers’ questions about your company and product. Otherwise, your customers might think they’re concealing information.
8. Show Your Human Side
People trust brands that they can relate to. In order to be relevant, your brand should display its human side. This makes your customers feel they’re dealing with other humans and not a faceless entity. This is the reason McDonald’s introduced a fictional character called Ronald McDonald.
But creating a branded character is not the only way to humanise your brand. You can showcase your company culture and employees to let your customers feel your brand is not just a logo and a slogan.
9. Take Feedback Constructively
You cannot possibly build a relevant and responsive brand unless you’re listening to your customers. Your customers provide you with feedback on your social media posts, through email or phone call, or by talking face-to-face with your employees. Successful companies take customer feedback seriously. They respond to customer complaints and suggestions and make improvements to their brand.
10. Own Up Your Mistakes
Just recently, Ford recalled more than 200000 vehicles due to loose front seats. Volkswagen recalled some 500000 vehicles a couple of years back. Everyone can make a mistake, and big brands are no exception. But customers will trust a brand, even more, when it owns up an honest mistake. Trying to justify a failure or not accepting your mistake can make your customers lose trust in your brand. When you realise you have made a mistake, own it as soon as you can.
Honesty and trustworthiness are the most important qualities customers consider when deciding to interact with a brand. A brand being an artificial person cannot develop these qualities by itself. It’s the marketers who build trust and integrity into their brands.
Content marketing and social media can be the major levers in driving your brand identity. Engage with your customers and leverage these two mediums to maximise your brand awareness. If you need any assistance with getting started for digital marketing- reach out to us and we would be happy to help you build a brand.