In B2B branding, trust is everything. Building brand trust in today’s hyper-niche markets demands careful strategy and planning far beyond getting your name in front of the right eyes.
Brand trust takes targeted, multi-disciplined, and thoughtful marketing campaigns designed to resonate with prospects and customers based on what they truly value. Now, many marketers do direct their efforts toward developing relationships with prospects and customers—but how do you know if these strategies actually build brand trust, and how do you gauge it?
In this blog, we’ll discuss the essential trust indicators to help you determine if you’re on the path to building a trusted brand. At Sagefrog, our job is to help B2B brands build trust with their customers—learn how we can help you.
What is Brand Trust?
How do you feel when you get something in the mail that doesn’t match its online description? People also feel the same disappointments and frustrations in business interactions and communications. The products and services you offer have the potential to bring your company great success, so be accurate when describing your capabilities. The right people will find you, see alignment between your promises and your offerings, and increase customer loyalty.
If you’re launching a new B2B brand, you’re probably laser-focused on selling your product or service; however, your audience cares about more than just the final product. Humans want a well-rounded experience. To deliver a customer experience worth remembering, repeating, and sharing, new brands must focus on establishing human connections, so be accessible, friendly, personable, helpful, and appreciative. Investing time and resources into satisfying one client will result in repeat purchases and a foundation for referrals.
From your very first customer, you’ll begin to form a deeper understanding of who comprises your audience and why. The initial companies that find value in your products and services can, in turn, help evolve your messaging and attract other similar customers. Your audience constantly evolves, so you must keep tabs on what’s most important to them at any given time and change business directions depending on where they gravitate.
While knowing your audience is an essential starting point, securing their trust comes from listening to what they say and how you put that feedback into action. In today’s B2B world, helping is the new selling. Customers often have questions, and you have answers that can build credibility and trust. Ensure there are always ways for customers, leads, and prospects to contact you to ask questions or provide feedback. Become a resource and help them get the most out of your product or service. Check out how the most trusted brands of 2022 established human connections during another year of virtual and online interactions in our most recent report.
How Can You Measure Brand Trust?
To measure brand trust, you’ll want to ensure that your mission and vision are integrated into all aspects of your internal operations, live by them unwaveringly, and actively promote and communicate them.
Your brand’s message and tone reflect who you are and what you do, forming a reputation and image for your brand in competitive, saturated markets. From the launch of your brand, you must dedicate your team to delivering brand messaging, design and imagery, and customer communications consistently and dependably for optimal trust. You can measure your success by your customers’ reactions to your brand.
In marketing, a mission statement connotes your brand’s purpose, and the vision statement establishes your brand’s direction. These elements explain why you exist, where you’re going, and how you’ll get there.
In today’s digital age, information is readily available, tools like ChatGPT are becoming commonplace, and consumers are increasingly skeptical of marketing messages, making transparency more important than ever for new brands looking to build trust. To get prospects and customers to trust your brand (and eventually buy from you), you must remain transparent in every aspect of your company values and deliver what’s expected in every interaction and transaction.
3 Steps for Building Brand Trust
Step 1. Build Connections with Your Brand
Trust begins in the earliest stages of creating a brand, and people tend to trust brands that connect with them based on values. B2B brands that focus too much on selling their own products and services and not enough on what matters to their prospects and customers tend to fall flat: simply put, prospects and customers don’t trust brands that are always trying to sell them something.
For instance, a B2B healthcare technology manufacturer involves creating solid relationships between their brand and medical professionals through thought leadership blogs, case studies, guides, and other content, as well as attending industry conferences and expos. These medical professionals and practitioners often act as champions for a product’s adoption in a hospital or clinic, even though they may not be the actual purchaser. Through high-quality resources and support solutions, product design, ease of use, and other customer experience-focused avenues, a med-tech brand may be able to build equity with patients or end-users. And by connecting and collaborating with key stakeholders on R&D projects, participating in industry associations and initiatives, and developing strategic partnerships with other health tech providers, you can steer them in the right direction by showing how your brand solves a given need in the best way possible.
Your brand identity is built on the vision and values that founded your business. Use these aspects as a guide to developing an authentic and compelling mission statement, finding your target audience, researching the competitive landscape, uncovering differentiators, creating a visual identity, and finding your brand’s voice.
Step 2. Measure Brand Awareness
Brand awareness is the extent to which prospects and customers know and recognize not just your brand name or logo but the unique aspects of your brand, and the ability for people to recall it when thinking about a particular product or service category.
Your brand needs to build awareness to build trust—you’ll never have positive, long-standing relationships with customers if they don’t fully recognize the key attributes, products, or services that make your brand one-of-a-kind. First, you need to know how your brand awareness is growing to see if you’re laying the foundation for brand trust.
Brand awareness is measured by:
Surveys can be conducted to gather information about brand recognition, brand recall, and overall awareness. Methods can include phone calls, online questionnaires, or in-person interviews. Marketers can analyze the results of these surveys to determine the level of brand awareness among the target audience.
- Social media analytics
Social media and third-party platforms provide businesses with tools to track their brand’s performance on these platforms, including engagement rates, reach, and impressions. By analyzing these metrics, companies can determine how effectively their brand reaches their target audience and how aware people are of their brand.
- Website traffic analysis
Website analytics tools can track the number of visitors to a brand’s website as well as their behavior and engagement with the site. Analyzing this data can help businesses determine how many people know about their brand and gauge interest in their products or services.
- Sales data
Sales data can be analyzed to determine the impact of brand awareness on sales. By comparing sales data with brand awareness data, businesses can evaluate the efficacy of their efforts in increasing brand awareness and driving sales.
Step 3. Assess Brand Equity
Brand equity is the worth of your business that comes solely from how prospects and customers view your brand rather than from the products or services you provide. Brand equity, like brand awareness, is one of the components of building brand trust and an indicator of brand health. You can tell how healthy a brand is by how well-recognized and respected it is. A healthy brand is a trusted brand.
Marketers assess brand equity in a variety of ways:
- Brand audits
Brand audits are comprehensive evaluations of a brand’s performance and potential. A brand audit involves analyzing various aspects of the brand, such as its visual identity, messaging, target audience, competition, and overall perception in the marketplace. By conducting a brand audit, marketers can better understand a brand’s strengths and weaknesses and identify opportunities for improvement.
Surveys can be conducted to gather information about consumer perceptions of a brand, including their level of brand awareness, loyalty, and associations. These surveys can be used to track brand equity changes over time and identify areas where the brand is succeeding or falling short.
- Sales data
Sales data can help measure the impact of brand equity on sales performance. By comparing sales data with brand equity data, marketers can determine how much of a product’s success is due to the brand itself, as opposed to other factors such as price or distribution.
When you measure brand equity, you’ll notice that the concepts overlap with awareness in many ways. You’re asking similar questions to step two, but now you’re digging deeper. Here, you’re assessing prospects’ and customers’ emotional connections and attitudes toward your brand.
Beyond focus groups and surveys, this can also be an excellent time to employ a Net Promoter Score, one of the most recognized methods for assessing brand trust. It asks a simple 1-10 rating question: “How likely would you recommend X brand to a friend or colleague?”
5 Building Blocks That Lead to Trust
Creating a trusted brand is no easy task. It takes hard work, dedication, and follow-through. Below are five building blocks to help you create a stable and trusted brand image.
A company’s ability to provide a reliable product or service is crucial to attaining a high level of trust among consumers. Remember to deliver what you promise and to do so at a high level of efficiency.
Consider your customers’ needs and how your company shows concern for those needs. Showcase these qualities in your PR activities. When a company applies its core capabilities to business results, it has a competitive advantage.
It is vital that customers feel a connection with your brand because when they do, they are more likely to spread their positive feelings through word of mouth or testimonials. Your marketing efforts should be focused on creating and cultivating that connection because the customer’s voice is the powerful third-party force your brand needs to attain high levels of trust.
Once you have developed a unique and compelling value proposition for your brand, repeat it again and again and again.
Preserving transparency with customers helps build brand confidence. Make sure to be not only open and honest about your product, but helpful as well. Remember, consumers are humans, too—they appreciate an honest, personal touch.
Start Fostering Brand Trust
In the end, the most trusted brands are healthy brands that are verbally and visually distinct and have strong brand awareness and equity. Building brand trust involves investing in your company’s vision and values and making every decision with trust in mind. Ask how every offer, campaign, or content piece contributes to your brand’s look, feel, and voice. Keep learning about what your customers need, and you’ll be topping the B2B Trusted Brands List in no time.
Accelerate Your Brand’s Trust
Need help building trust for your brand? You can implement these tips and tricks to start gaining brand trust today, and we can help. If you want to accelerate brand trust and increase customer loyalty while focusing on critical business objectives, get in touch with Sagefrog.