Brands that present themselves as dependable rely less on feelings or emotions and more on showing customers that they can be trusted to deliver what they promise. Brands present themselves as dependable in several ways: Emphasize the current value they deliver, offer new or unexpected value, provide practical information and expertise, or remove customers’ pain points. For example:
During the early phases of the pandemic when grocery stores were overcrowded or closed, a restaurant chain turned sections of its restaurants into mini-grocery stores where customers could buy essential items, demonstrating that it could flex with customers’ most pressing needs to fulfill its promise of “delivering quality food.”
A telecommunications company cataloged and identified roadblocks to customer trust — such as price increases — and prioritized actions for the company to take to systematically improve brand trust.
The Gartner 2019 Brand Trust Survey shows that brands emphasizing dependability gain three times more customer trust than brands that focus primarily on caring.
“Caring is good, authentic is better, but dependable is best,” Guerrero said. “It is the most effective way to build and maintain brand trust. This is an untapped opportunity for brands.”
The good news is that marketing leaders don’t have to choose only one strategy. Leading brands use all three approaches as part of their portfolio to establish brand trust. The point is to give due weight to dependability.
Create messaging and take proactive steps to highlight not only caring and warmth, but also the practical, transactional benefits your brand delivers. Identify the value you’ve promised your customers and the signals they look for to trust your ability to deliver it.
Recommended Gartner client* reading: Improving Brand Trust in Untrusting Times by Carlos Guerrero et al.
*Note: Some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.