Five Key Factors To Build Brand Credibility For Your Business
In today’s business marketplace, where 250,000 products are launched in a year, brands come and go at supersonic speeds. It is in fact sad to know that these products actually have an 85-95% failure rate, which indirectly shows the pace of business market today.
While several new brands keep coming and going, world’s popular exceptions such as Apple, Ford, Levis, Intel and Microsoft have sustained for decades and are still on top. Do you know why?
Credibility and transparency is as important for corporate reputation as that of quality of the products and services. With a variety of scams, rip-offs and cheating practices through false marketing, people have started to see everything by categorizing into two; real and fake. Customers have become extremely cautious and think deeply before spending every penny, after all no one likes to be cheated is it not?
Authentic brands do not portray themselves as to how they want customers to hear them. Instead, they express themselves openly as to who they are and tend to offer nothing less than the best products and services to customers.
If you own a startup or creating a brand for your business, here comes 5 key factors which help to build credibility for your brand.
1. The Trust Factor
Pete Blackshaw, who wrote the book ‘Satisfied customers tell three friends, Angry customers tell 3000’, says that trust is the major credibility driver for your brand. He also says that customers trust each other than believing a company or their advertising. This scepticism can be overcome by honest, straightforward and transparent practices.
How to build trust in your customers?
- Consistent Performance – Consumers need to believe that whenever they buy a product or take a service from you, it is totally worth the money.
- Security – if your product is harmful or not safe, then consumers will start avoiding your service or it can lead to disastrous outcomes for your business.
- Solid warranty – Deliver what you promise to your customers. If you commit on the guarantee of your product or declare a specific warranty, stay on to it and do free service or replacement as promised. For instance, Apple declares 1 year warranty for its mobile phones. Within that 1 year duration, if there is any malfunction in the device, you get immediate replacement of the handset, no questions asked. That is the reason why Apple stands out in an entirely different level from its competitors till date.
- Direct communication – Always make a straightforward communication with your customers whatever be the source of media. Never make roundabout statements and jargons to confuse them. A simple language directly conveys the information to hearts and brains.
A realistic and authentic brand sticks to its said values very clearly without any doubts. Any brand which diverges from its values is certain to face charges of dishonesty and hypocrisy. Setting quality as the main core value of your product or business is crucial. Higher quality brands achieve greater market share and higher profits than their competitors.
How do customers judge quality?
- Based on the interaction which the website offers.
- When the product satisfies the basic requirements of the customer.
- The gestures or cues which the product gives out.
In the present age of information and technology, customers have got the power to find every detail about your business. By disclosing the relevant information and being transparent, you prevent any negative waves from erupting.
How to be transparent?
- Explain your functionality.
- Who are your partners and employees?
- What are your company policies, terms and conditions?
- Make your product labels and sales packages easy to read.
Transparency is again never 100%. Know where to draw the line. It is not necessary to disclose trade secrets, technology used or secret formulation and so on.
4. Listen to your customers
Listening to feedback from your customers and being available to them round the clock is very important. Be available to your customers when you are needed to them. When you ignore, then they may end up blasting you in blogs, public forums and social media. Being courteous to them and listening to their queries with patience plays a major role in sustaining your brand’s credibility.
- Similar to ‘call to action’, display ‘contact us’ buttons in an easily accessible manner.
- Set up FAQ’s and customer forums.
- Display toll free or toll-included numbers so that customers can contact you anytime.
- Set up live support, with ample customer service executives, so that customers need not wait in queue to get their issues resolved.
- Be responsive to email queries instantly.
5. Think from a long term perspective
All the above mentioned points take a minimum of certain years to get established strongly. It is essential to maintain brand value and spread its awareness from time to time. When a brand is dead for a certain period of time, it affects the sales to a greater extent. That is the reason why we see latest advertisements for Coca cola and Pepsi from time to time. Everyone knows these brands, but reminding customers about their presence, redesigning the logo and rebranding techniques keep renovating the brand’s presence and credibility for a lifetime.
It is easy for Google and Wikipedia to deliver complete information about your business. The internet is open and the world loves to be transparent. When you are able to deliver what the current society needs, with a quality that will match up with the price and an everlasting support, you eventually start sustaining in the boat of brand credibility.