Do Your Customers Trust You? Why Trust Might Be Your Most Valuable Currency

A company or business earns trust though the brand. So what creates a brand that inspires trust? Brand experts point to two key elements, which are reflected in “say” and “do”: the brand promise (SAY: or the declaration of intent that inspires hope) and the delivery on that promise (DO: the fulfilment of the declaration that inspires trust).

Case Study: FedEx – A Brand Built on a Promise Worth Talking About

When Fred Smith founded FedEx in 1971, it was simply a shipping company. Overnight delivery did not exist on a national scale in the United States. Then, Smith found a way to deliver point-to-point, anywhere in the U.S. — almost overnight, thereby inspiring the tagline, “When it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight!”

Smith talks about his revelation: “We thought we were selling the transportation of goods; in fact, we were selling peace of mind. When we finally figured that out, we pursued our goal with a vengeance.”

FedEx backed up the promise of its tagline with its actions, and it did what it said it would every time. It consistently produced results. It built a reputation for reliability that leading to recognition as one of the most trusted companies in the world.

And people told their friends.

Today, FedEx ranks in the top ten of Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies. Trust has become the new currency of the global economy. It is the basis on which many people do business — or don’t.

The world’s largest and most successful brands have built strong reputations by having a clear brand promise and consistently delivering on it. Think Mercedes, Rolex, Apple, Google and Amazon.

Consider these facts:

  • 77% of informed respondents said they refused to buy products or services from a company they distrusted
  • 72% criticized a distrusted company to a friend or colleague.
  • 76% said they recommended a trusted brand to a colleague or friend
  • 91% rated “A company I trust.” as a priority when asked, “When you think of good and responsible companies, how important is each of the following factors to the overall reputation of the company?”
    • (Edelman Trust Barometer, 2009)
  • 83% of People who trust a brand will recommend it to others. (Concerto Marketing Group Study, 2009)

Referral business is the ultimate example of brand trust as a currency. It represents a “transference of trust” that goes from a current customer to a new prospect and back to the seller. With today’s social media, both criticisms and recommendations go much farther and faster than ever before.

So, how much do your customers trust you? 

**Read More on this topic in Smart Trust: Creating Prosperity, Energy, and Joy in a Low-Trust World.