It’s time for a truth check – when it comes to brands, which do you really, really, really trust? And by trust I don’t mean relying on them to give you a good product. I’m talking about the whole package here.
According to the Values Institute which has just done a nationwide survey on which brands Americans trust, there are five attributes a brand needs to have to secure trust: ability; concern; connection; consistency and sincerity.
Interestingly though, the brand and company itself needs to have these vital ingredients. As Mike Weisman from the Values Institute says: “The stronger the corporate culture of values, with employees who understand those values, the more likely the company will have strong connection with customers.”
So basically what goes on inside also affects what happens outside. So which brands are doing it right?
Brands were scored on how well they did what they said they do, how much they ‘cared’ about their customers, whether people felt a connection with the brand, their consistency and sincerity.
Looking at the list there’s no real surprises – Amazon, Ford Motor Company, Coca-Cola – which didn’t get a single negative comment apparently – and Apple. Apple scored highest for their concern about the customer, largely because their employees truly represent and live the brand values, making the buying experience fun and interesting and good for everyone from technogeek to technophobe. Target also hit the spot for their sincerity and consistency.
All of these brands invest huge amounts in making a difference for their customers. Whether it’s free Wi-Fi in coffee houses to striving to bring good deals. Or making sure, even if you don’t know an iPod from an iPad, that you get the help you need. And they likewise invest a huge amount in employees – you can’t have failed to notice that in Apple stores staff are genuinely excited about all the products and can’t wait to show you what they can do?
It’s the same reason why Cultural Movements have to start from the inside out. Everyone – from the top down – needs to truly believe in a Movement to make it work. Just as employees need to believe in a brand and its values to really bring it to life.