Trust is declining. In 2020, attitudes toward the media, corporate leaders, NGOs, and the government have become increasingly negative, and more than 50% of the mass population is losing its trust in these institutions. According to Edelman’s 2020 Trust Barometer, attitudes depend on demographics-- on whether you are wealthier, more educated, and informed by the news. Edelman’s report, which was released in January before the pandemic and pre-Black Lives Matter protests, and subsequent widening gap between the haves and have-nots it is still relevant on many fronts.
With the unprecedented spread and impact of the COVID-19 virus, and civil unrest in the streets, growing unemployment and financial concerns of many, it’s a strong wake-up call for brands to take INTENTIONAL steps toward building trust with their audiences.
People remember being treated well
Mark Cuban shared his thoughts recently on a CNBC’s “Market in Turmoil” special. He emphasized that how businesses take care of employees and stakeholders during this time of crisis is a business issue that will define their ‘brand for decades’. He noted that the attitudes of the Gen Z and Millennial generations will be particularly influenced by recent events and how large organizations responded to them. Cuban vowed, for example, to pay regular wages to his hourly workers, including cooks and cleaners, who are impacted by the suspension of NBA games. These actions will engender loyalty, trust, and positivity toward the company long after the virus environment subsides.
Trust in a brand can be deeply impacted with one tweet
CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s recent, poorly crafted tweet in response to a tweet about racism being a public health issue very quickly led Reebok and athletes to cut ties with CrossFit. Even though Glassman later apologized for the mistake and error in judgment, his thoughtless tweet was damaging to the company and the CrossFit brand. Brands must be continuously sensitive and choose words carefully.
This is a challenging time, but it is also a real opportunity
Businesses that build trust during crises can make a real difference and generate long-standing loyalty with employees, brand partners, business pipelines and with each other.
What is the best approach? What is important to people and employees now?
What can you do online to help your brand and business right now?
Targeted strategies and communications that seek to build trust and loyalty are an imperative during challenging times. Brandmark Studios’ strategic professionals work with clients to developing strong and well-crafted messaging that helps build trust and brand visibility for the long term. Contact us today for a free consultation.