At a local networking event, the first question everyone seemed to ask was, “So how is your business faring?”
The ensuing discussion lasted 20 minutes and had very little to do with the state of everyone’s businesses and everything to do with the state of the economy, the state of housing prices, the state of the auto industry, buying American versus buying foreign goods, working from home versus working in an office, small businesses versus larger businesses. When there was a short pause in the discussion, I observed that the unifying theme came down to… TRUST.
There is a fundamental lack of trust in the system as a whole at the moment – at least in the perceptions of this group. I mean, what is cash, credit, a purchase order or an invoice if not an example of transactional trust. In fact, what is your BRAND if not a stand-in for trust that you can and will deliver the products and services you offer at the highest level of quality?
So what does this mean for your brand story? Well, it means that before you attempt to educate and sell your products or services, you MUST invest some time and effort in gaining the TRUST of your customers, prospects or partners. This may sound obvious, but I’ll bet you are not continuing to demonstrate the trust that you have developed – especially with current customers.
Think about what makes your brand trustworthy. What stories demonstrate this trustworthiness? What metrics measure your ability to establish and strengthen trust?
Because, until we begin strengthening trust, we’re not going to grow.