Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

While consumers are interacting with brands more frequently and therefore having more brand experiences, they’re also losing trust in them. This is according to a Forrester Report titled “The Crisis of Trust and How Smart Brands will Shape CX in Response”.

The report references the Edelman Trust Barometer to prove just how much faith consumers have lost in brands. The survey, which is based on 28 countries and 33,000 respondents, revealed that 48% of people don’t believe that companies will do the right thing and 63% have trouble with the credibility of CEOs. It’s a situation that has been exacerbated by people in leadership positions who make false statements, and the power of social media platforms which speeds up the spread of false news. The majority of respondents said that technology companies are not taking accountability for their role in this worsening situation.

Consumers maintain that in order to regain their trust, companies need to listen to them, offer improved services and products and start treating their employees better. In addition, making false statements that are further augmented by digital technologies only works to further destroy their trust in brands.

The big take-out:

Consumers are steadily losing trust in brands, thanks to a climate of false promises magnified by social media. According to a recent Forrester report trust can be regained by creating customer experience rooted in values and serving a smaller audience at a deeper level. 

The Forrester report says smart brands need to start living by their values and delivering on their promises if they’re to regain consumer trust. Moreover, brand experiences should be rooted in these values. Apple is a case in point.

Conversely, it says that companies that try to be “everything to everyone” won’t fare as well as those that choose to speak to a smaller community, as opposed to a mass market. In addressing smaller communities, brands are able to deliver personalised experiences to their customers and address the unique needs of the segment. Brands that are positioned as “Jacks of all trades” miss the mark in terms of delivering distinct brand experiences while those who serve a smaller set of customers are able to provide this on a deeper level and position themselves as experts within their targeted audiences.

In a climate that isn’t looking promising for brands, actions that help to build trust are essential for favourable customer experiences, says the report. For example, brands that show they live by their values will attract customers, while brands such as PepsiCo (which experienced a dismal failure when it created an advert featuring Kendall Jenner joining a protest and handing a Pepsi to a policeman) were perceived by consumers as “borrowing” values and therefore alienating them by “compromising truth and authenticity”, the report reveals.

Please sign in or register to comment.