The Crucial Role of Brand Purpose in Building Long-Term Trust

Posted by Allan Steinmetz on 15 November 2023

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The Crucial Role of Brand Purpose in Building Long-Term Trust - Inward Strategic Consulting Perspective:

The 2023 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report delivers a resounding message to marketers worldwide: Trust is a dynamic and evolving factor in the consumer-brand relationship, and it's time for brands to adapt their strategies for long-term success. With over 70% of consumers highlighting trust as a pivotal element in their brand choices, and trust ranking third behind "good value for money" and "best quality," it's undeniable that trust has become a make-or-break element in the consumer's decision-making process.

However, there's more to the story. The study also underscores the pivotal role of brand purpose in the trust equation. Brands with a meaningful and authentic purpose are more likely to establish trust that endures over time. Purpose-driven marketing isn't just a trend; it's a necessity.

One of the most significant revelations from the study is the transformation of the traditional sales funnel. Consumers no longer follow a linear path; instead, 50% of respondents do most of their brand research after making a purchase. Trust is no longer an endpoint but an ongoing relationship, with 59% of respondents believing that trust drives purchasing, and 67% indicating it fosters loyalty and advocacy.

The study highlights two essential trust principles: relevance and authenticity. Brands can break trust by being irrelevant or inauthentic in their interactions with consumers. In these unpredictable times, understanding your brand and your consumers is paramount, as Courtney Miller, EVP, Head of Strategy at Edelman, explains.

Building trust, however, cannot be rushed or forced. Brands must focus on creating meaningful connections and actions that resonate with consumers. As Chemistry's EVP of Partnerships and Experiments, Courtney Saul, states, the most trusted brands aim to make people feel something, motivate them, and even surprise them. Trust is established through meaningful connections and actions, not a conventional funnel.

To cultivate trust effectively, marketers should prioritize three primary areas: simplicity, consistency, distribution channels, and brand purpose. In a world saturated with content, simplicity and valuable, consistent brand experiences are key. Brands must maintain a positive product experience and consistent behavior across all interactions.

Regarding distribution channels, understanding each channel's unique role and adapting the message accordingly is crucial. Marketers must coordinate their message consistently across all channels and embrace an omnichannel strategy that offers a seamless experience.

To win or regain trust, marketers need to see consumers as long-term partners rather than transactional targets. This perspective leads to benefits such as product diversification, price elasticity, loyalty, and a goodwill bank. Connecting with consumers on a human level and focusing on what the brand stands for is essential, especially for Gen Z consumers.

The trust issue should be taken seriously, as consumer trust in brands is rapidly evolving. Marketers should act decisively and align their company's purpose with tangible customer experiences. Brands must be seen as fulfilling their promises, being fair, honest, and actively contributing to society.

In conclusion, trust is the linchpin of modern marketing. Marketers who understand and embrace the changing landscape of consumer trust and brand purpose will build strong, long-lasting relationships and remain relevant in these ever-evolving times. #Marketing #TrustBuilding #ConsumerRelationships #BrandPurpose

About Inward

Inward Strategic Consulting is a 26-year-old management/creative consulting firm that helps clients achieve high performance by developing comprehensive business strategies and cultures aligned with their goals, processes, and resources. They specialize in internal/external branding strategies, change management, brand purpose, and market research. They offer proprietary methodologies such as Visioneering, Inward Marketing, Dialogue Marketing, Best Practice and Benchmarking, and Qualitative and Quantitative Market Research. They have worked with Fortune 100 companies including Walmart, McDonald's, Aetna, City of Hope, and many others.

Allan Steinmetz CEO