Brand Matters: Trust Me
Would you take a moment and reflect back on the companies that got the largest share of your wallet this past holiday season? Perhaps these companies are still top of mind as the bills are being paid for all those gifts and experiences: electronics, special foods, hotels and airfares, new clothes, toys and decorations.
What was memorable about any of those transactions? Expert advice? Excellent product selections? Personal and courteous service? Extraordinary value? Convenience? Brand reputation? Just why did those specific companies earn your holiday trust? Will they earn it again next holiday season?
Trust is an important component to building lasting relationships with your customers. Brand-builders need to spend time thinking about how trust is built (to woo new prospects), how it can be further strengthened (to increase market share) and how it can be lost (to proactively prevent!).
One company that I admire for continually looking for ways to deepen trust with its customers is financial services firm Charles Schwab. Known for its "Talk to Chuck" campaign, Schwab works hard at getting inside its customers' heads to truly understand why people are hesitant to do business with a brokerage firm. The firm figured out the "pain points" of potential prospects and crafted a long-running, sticky messaging campaign that speaks forthrightly to those concerns. I've used that very campaign as a model to encourage my clients to do that same work with their customers.
Recently, the brand-builders at Charles Schwab unveiled a further evolution of that trust-building campaign called "Fuel the Movement." Laurine Garrity, chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Charles Schwab, says this campaign is meant to purposefully address the fact that "consumers are looking for integrity and candor from their financial services firm. They want to be more engaged, especially in these turbulent times, but inertia and distrust are significant obstacles. With these new ads, we hope to make it clear that Schwab is a firm that will listen to clients and provide straightforward actionable ideas that make sense to them."
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at email@example.com.