Trust Sign

Trust is more than just an RTB

Today, trust in brands is at an all time low, with just one-in-three people trusting most of the brands they buy and use (Edelman, 2019). So how do you become a brand that people trust? 

Two advertising executives from the London office of Crispin Porter Bogusky (CPB) recently held a pre-production call. For three hours, they discussed plans for making a two-minute film, TV spots, and social media content for a major beverage band. 

The way many brands respond to this trust challenge is by being very rational, supplying their audiences with RTBs and product-driven messages in the wish to gain their trust. The focus on such left-brained (rational) advertising as opposed to right-brained (emotional) one is something Orlando Wood warns against in his recent Achtung! IPA Research produced in partnership with Facebook. He also argues that advertising generally has leaned toward “left-brained” thinking in the past 20 years.

So in this world of decreasing trust, it’s never been more important for brands to go beyond their functional RTBs. Because words about how good your product is are simply not enough: 67% agree that a good reputation may get them to try a product, but unless they come to trust the company behind the product, they will soon stop buying it (Edelman, 2019). 

This means that in addition to your product intrinsics such as physical product characteristics and product claims, we think there are other three key extrinsically-focused ways of building trust to keep in mind.

The first way is brand and communications. From brand values to advertising to tone of voice to packaging to UX of your mobile website, it is crucial to get your brand and comms right. For example, we know that advertising that has a culturally-relevant point of view builds trust as 86% are more likely to trust brands that lead with purpose (Cone/Porter Novelli, 2019). Oatly does this right – from its commitment to sustainability to its honest and friendly tone of voice to an engaging website to advertising with a strong ‘milk but made for humans’ POV. From 2018 to 2019, the Swedish oat milk brand grew by 222%.

The second key way of building trust beyond product intrinsics is via media – i.e. the type of media you choose.According to Neilsen global research from 2019, TV is the most trusted media of all major paid advertising channels (online, outdoor, print, radio, TV and theatre). For example, Monzo, the digital only bank uses ATL media, in particular TV, to build trust and they win. They launched its first TV campaign at the end of May 2019 and by the end of June the brand had increased new sign-ups by 167% and saw awareness leap from 35% to 48%.

And the last but not least way is through internal comms and culture. We know from research that the way brands treat their employees is a key indicator of trustworthiness for consumers – 76% of them think so (Edelman, 2019). REI, a co-op outdoor retailer is not only a purpose-led brand that invests 70% of its profits annually in the outdoor community, it also takes care of its employees. For the fifth consecutive year, this Black Friday REI will pay all 13,000 employees to #OptOutside with friends and family – in addition to another few days off for staff to play outside. Result? For more than 20 years, the company has been recognised every year as one of the US top employers on Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list. 

 So building trust is more than just landing a functional RTB about your product or service. If you think about your brand holistically and about how some of your (or all of them) brand extrinsics can work better, then you will win consumers’ trust.

This article was originally posted in Creativebrief.comby Anna Salda.