We have been running a series of blogs and opinion pieces regarding trust going back to February around ‘trust’ as a strongly emergent factor in understanding a brand’s health and relationship with consumers. Our contention is that because trust is increasingly scarce and rarely seen or claimed by consumers it has increased in value as a short cut reference to the health of the relationship between brand and consumer. It places the emphasis on building trust not on the brand team or marketing but on the whole of the organisation and it is well placed to become a new rallying call for CEO’s in an uncertain post Brexit world. I was really interested to see Campaign magazines latest documentary piece released today which focuses on trust and the way it is impacting now on marketing and media agencies following the recent ANA report into ‘Advertising Fraud and Consumer Trust.
Most recently we have seen another great institution of moral and athletic competition be dragged into the same crisis on the eve of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Now any achievement is underlined by questions over clean v dirty competitors and the brand owners (IOC) seem to have lacked the decisiveness to act even in the face of apparently indisputable evidence, which in turn does nothing to allay suspicion or rebuild trust in an institution which was meant to have fairness and moral codes at its heart.
Taking the perspective as an Insight Consultancy we believe that consumers have to have confidence in the products and promises made by brands. When it comes to the testing of new ideas or progressive change, unless we overcome this climate of distrust, how do we re-calibrate the kinds of responses we are seeing and hearing in our research projects which seek to understand the reactions to new products, new communication themes and stories and new service experiences? Instead it is time to break down the factors which drive and build trust, understand why, how and where it has been broken and learn how to reassemble in order to measure progress once again and more importantly challenge the malaise that consumers are forming around simple human values like honesty, integrity and doing the right thing. We know there are some common values but each category and market also has a set of unique references embedded in the landscape and topography which also need to be explored properly.
I would appeal to any like minded brand managers, CEO’s and Insight Managers who feel the same to contact us directly – we have some ideas to share on how we turn the scales and look to develop, not undermine trust amongst your consumers.
The sentiment and the challenges we have been talking about are most eloquently put in the following clip which we have edited from the fuller documentary piece you can access here Campaign Magazine: The Crisis in Trust.