Brand loyalty demands a focus on credibility and trust

Developing a connection between your consumers and your brand creates lasting loyalty and affinity.

This question was recently posed by a client during a strategy workshop: How do you build credibility when you’re just starting out?

The question got us thinking about how even the most polished and stable of companies can still face credibility issues, especially when presented with the growing need to create attention-grabbing products in order to expand their client base.

Let’s run through the basics.

What is credibility?

Traditionally, credibility refers to the trustworthiness and expertise of an individual or company. The more your clients trust you and the greater your expertise, the higher your credibility will be.

Trust + Expertise = Credibility

The formula is simple; however, the components of great credibility are complicated.

How do I establish trust?

Trust is subjective, unfortunately. It’s how we measure our belief in another’s honesty, fairness, and benevolence. The root of the word credibility is credo, which is Latin for “I believe”. It should come as no great shock, then, that trust and trustworthiness make up half of the credibility formula.

How do I demonstrate expertise?

If you were a magician, the best magic trick in your repertoire would be a reflection of your expertise. The level of skill it takes to make a train disappear is much higher than that required to make a toy train disappear. The principle is the same in business. To get your audience on board with your level of expertise, you have to demonstrate that your knowledge of their subject surpasses anyone else’s in the biz.

How do I build credibility?

By continuing to work just as hard as you did when you were first starting out.

The reason you have a client base now is that you shared your expertise with your clients early on and they came to trust in your ability to lead them in the right direction. You established your credibility, but that doesn’t mean your work is finished.

The goal now is to take what you’ve learned since you started and use both your current clients’ trust and your expert knowledge to gain more business and produce even better products.

Remember what the great Edward R. Murrow said: “To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable, we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.”
Seems to me like the man really knew his stuff, no?

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