Building Trust: The New Social Currency

Have you ever wondered why you hesitated a bit before providing your personal details for that new website you logged on to or that new app?

Well, that’s because you didn’t trust them, yet. Once trust was established you felt comfortable with even adding your card details to the app.

“You can have all the facts and figures, all the supporting evidence, all the endorsements that you want, but if at the end of the day you don’t have trust, you won’t get anywhere” — Niall Fitzgerald, ex chairman Unilever

Trust has become a vital social currency in the world of business in the 21st century, with the rise of digital transformation more brands have been faced with the challenge of building trust with their consumers.

Brands must foster a trustworthy relationship with their audience to remain firmly rooted in their minds. According to the Harvard Business Review, trust is not simply a nice thing to have but a critical strategic asset.

Top businesses and brands worldwide have seen the need to forge deep emotional connections with consumers to build brand trust and accelerate the growth of their business. The value the world’s top brands such as Apple, Tesla, Nike, Microsoft, have in the minds of their consumers were built on trustworthy and credible relationships.

Trust as a social currency isn’t a fairly new concept, although some businesses still find it difficult to establish the foundations for this. Consumers will not patronize your brand or recommend to others if they do not trust it.

Building trust is the essential building block for any business, studies show 83% of people will recommend brands they trust to other people, 87% will give its new products a chance and 82% will use its products frequently.

In order to build trust, brands must be intentional about their communications, what they say, how they say it, when they say it and on what channels.

Brands have to integrate their brand story, the core of the brand’s existence into every marketing effort. Trust is built when brands offer value consistently for their consumers, connection and interaction on social media platforms also have a positive impact on the trust building process, the use of customer testimonials on your website can contribute as well.

Ultimately, brands must continually seek consumer pain points and use empathy centric strategies to create lasting experiences for their consumers.

The social currency of trust never suffers from devaluation as it remains the legal tender for the biggest and most successful brands in the world.

Building trust for your brand may not be an easy feat but it is always worth it in the end as consumers today only do business with the brands that they trust. Remember, trust is not simply a nice thing to have but a critical strategic asset.

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I write at the intersection of marketing, the creator economy and emerging tech | Freelance B2B SaaS/Tech Writer |