A few years back, Ford and Chevy got into a snowball fight of words in their marketing.
One claimed to have more awards. The other claimed to have the most powerful truck on the market. One claimed to be the safest. The other claimed to be the most cost effect.
On and on it went. Back and forth. So much for marketing… it was more like trash talking.
Let’s face it. Almost every brand out in the world claims to the best.
So many marketing pitches say the same thing. Or their messaging has to list so many reasons why their brand is better than someone else. It’s a war of words.
Have you ever stopped to think if this kind of marketing actually is trustworthy?
Think about it… do you really want to go give your money to a brand that fights dirty in their marketing?
Does a nasty campaign make you want to trust them? Absolutely not.
The brands that win trust, win the customer…. but if you’re paying attention, brand trust isn’t just a marketing ploy. It’s a wholistic approach to marketing and business. It’s a combination of good marketing, service, fulfillment of expectations, brand look, messaging, and more.
Becoming a trusted brand is a difficult thing to do, but it does require some sacrifice.
Being a trusted brand takes time, strategy, and intentionality. It’s a slow crawl of consistency and proving that you’re legit. It’s choosing the path of being positive and optimistic. It’s bringing life to your customers as you serve them.
It’s not always easy, but it is worth it for it’s many advantages such as loyal customers and growing your market influence.
Let’s talk about what it means to become a trusted brand and how you can do it with 3 easy steps.
Don’t oversell. Don’t overpromise. Don’t advertise service you can’t fulfill. Don’t promise a product that is far superior if it really isn’t. Don’t make your marketing campaign all about what the “other guy” is doing wrong.
Rather, be realistic, be truthful, and be direct. Honesty and fulfillment of expectations goes a long way with your customers.
Tell the truth. Tell your customers directly how you can help them and make their lives better. Be intentional with your words and messaging. And most importantly, be believable.
If you claim to sell the best donut in the city, you better have the best donut in the city. You should have awards, write ups, and evidence to back up your claim.
Make sure your marketing is like looking in the mirror. It should reflect who you really are and what you’re selling. If the customer has anything but a good surprise, then your messaging, branding, and marketing might need some re-alignment.
Don’t lie or oversell the customer. Be clear on what you will do and not do. Be clear about your pricing, timeline and deliverables. Be clear about how you can help them and what you will do to make their life better.
Be yourself. Let your guard down a little bit. Let the customer see who you really are. And be honest.
This is self-explanatory… Just don’t suck at what you do.
Go the extra mile. Ask the customer what they need and then overdeliver. Go above any beyond to ensure satisfaction. Give them more than what they ask for.
You must be good at what you do to earn respect and equity in the customer-seller relationship. Here are a few examples of what building equity looks like:
One of my favorite things to do at the end of the year is to write a handwritten thank you note and deliver a Christmas gift. I’ve learned that this is a very personal way to show appreciation and also tell the customer that you value them.
On a deeper level. Sometimes it’s not just what you deliver, but how you deliver it. For example, when you deliver a product or complete a job, go the extra mile to say thanks. Write a handwritten thank you note. Give them a thank you gift.
Take the time to build a real connection with the customer. This will lead to trust and more business opportunities.
Sometimes your optimistic and positive attitude is just as important as the product you’re selling.
You know how you can tell when a brand has achieved the highest level of trust? When their customers have become their salesforce.
When you’re good at your job, you don’t have to do as much marketing for yourself because others are doing it for you.
At the end of the day, customers are buying solutions to their problems. And you know what happens when the customer gets a solution to their problem? Peace of mind.
Once a brand understands that they aren’t just selling a product or service, but rather a result that makes the customer happy, it changes the way they communicate and sell.
Some of the best marketers in the world understand this. They realize that selling their product for a surface result can only last for a short amount of time. They have found a way to go deeper into the customer’s mind and heart to speak on their level. They have found a way to present their product or services as the answer to the customer’s problems.
If you’re selling peace of mind, this should help you identify what robs the customer of their peace. And then this should become part of your sales language: “If you struggle with this… our product is perfect at resolving it in this way.”
People put their most valuable assets where they trust. Whether it’s time, emotional energy, focus, or money… we give our heart where we trust.
Remember that your marketing must build a relationship before you just sell something. As we talked about above, part of how you build the relationship is by telling the truth, executing your job well, and reminding the customer how you can help them.
People want to do business with GOOD people who are fun to be around, keep their word, and do good work.
Don’t just tell your customers that you care about them. SHOW THEM you care about them! And show them the same level of respect, dignity, and honor that you want to receive. Be someone they like.
You have to find a way to be likeable. This is crucial. Make sure your brand is one that people want to rally around because it’s fun, honest, and quality. Then, make your marketing, messaging, design, and branding reflect this.
This goes a long way and will guarantee a successful business for any brand.