Trust is earned or built when actions match words. But, the secret to a successful and lasting business is not just about earning trust. It’s about strengthening that trust with consistent delivery that earns you clients for life. In an era of fake news and fractured consumer behaviour, cynicism towards brands seems more intense than ever before and therefore Trust and Transparency are key components of brand success.
For someone who has seen multi dimensional shift in business over the last two decades, I can safely vouch that trust is still the catalyst for successful business. Nothing succeeds like hard work and generating trust in your consumers. Of course, there are organisations that are willing to take shortcuts, promise big and deliver nothing to meet business objectives. This strategy may work for the short term, but in the long run, it’s a death knell for any business because of the absence of trust.
Much before fancy terms like ‘branding’ ‘strategic communication’ and ‘marketing/public relations’ captured the fancy of business schools in India and across the world, businesses—both big and small—flourished on word-of-mouth references which were rooted in trust. This is because they have created such a strong brand value and reliability to daily lives of its target clientele that you cannot imagine a life without them.
Take the example of the BMW brand which is so popular despite what some would say “affordability factor.” There’s no secret formula for its success. The brand is a perfect example of what a consumer’s trust can do for any business. Today BMW stands tall in the automobile segment because of years of sustained effort, transparent practices, hard work, value and quality that solidified the trust of its customers.
We, at Kaizzen understand the value of trust. After a decade of existence, we can proudly say that “clients for life” is a reality and very much possible. Consider this; trust is just a short, five-letter word but it has a massive impact. It connects our organisation to its employees and vice versa. At Kaizzen, it is this trust that trickles into our interaction with clients. It manifests in our consistent deliveries and transparency in each stage of our business. What better way to give you an example of trust than the fact that our first client is still with us, after more than a decade of doing business with us.
To sum up my experience in the business space, my learning on trust has taught me the following:
- Open, Flexible & Accessible: Any brand which follows these basic rules cannot fail. Sure, everyone makes mistakes and should be open to grievances, criticism, suggestion from its clientele. Don’t sidestep the concerns of your clients, but find ways to address them. This is what makes an impact and cements trust.
- Know your client and deliver: Whether you’re selling a product or service ensure it goes through multiple tests. Therefore, it’s important to not only know what your client wants but also how it should be delivered. Remember, logic doesn’t win all the time and emotion makes a deeper impact. And, trust, after all is an emotion.
- Transparency & Consistency: Be efficient and set realistic expectations. If you walk-the-talk on what you promise and deliver it then your organisation/service/product/brand is a winner because nothing works like honesty. Remember, building transparency is not just about winning over new customers or attracting potential ones. Rather, it is also about retaining old relationships and carrying them forward.
Trust is not a new currency but the only currency which can bring success.
The views expressed here are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect that of Reputation Today.