Marketing – Story – Trust

Marketing happens 24/7. It happens any time and any where our companies touch our customers or our prospective customers.

According to the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer trust and transparency are as important to corporate reputation as the quality of products and services. In the U.S. and in much of Western Europe, these two attributes rank higher than product quality – and far out-rank financial returns, which sit at or near the bottom of 10 criteria in all regions.

If we want our marketing messages heard, if we want to tell our story and we want people to listen then trust must be established. In Tom Wanek’s book Currencies that buy Credibility he outlines six powerful “currencies” that earn trust with our customers and in turn build our business. Those six “currencies” are:

  1. Material wealth – offering warranties, guarantees or policy that put the financial risk on you instead of your customer. Wanek gives the example of One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning which became the nation’s first heating and cooling service company to offer on-time service.
    They created believability by fulfilling the promise of “Always on time or you don’t pay a dime”. They risked material wealth to build credibility.
  2. Time and Energy – investing your time and energy to offer your expertise and help solve your customer’s problem. For a great example of this check out the online retailer REI. REI takes their
    content to an amazing level by offering expert advice to outdoor experts or wannabees. What’s your expertise? How can you highlight it?
  3. Opportunity – carving out your niche and becoming specialized to the point you are willing to lose some customer’s. A great example of this is the toy store “Geppetto’s Workshop”. This unique toy story differentiates itself and prides itself in NOT carrying any toy that is made of plastic or requires batteries.  They go all out so that they don’t become ordinary. The absence of “popular and trendy” toys is what attracts the crowds.
  4. Power and Control – in today’s retail world customers have the ability to instantly share their experiences with a product or service. While standing in line at your store they can instantly update their status on Facebook with an account of outstanding service OR let their hundreds or thousands of friends hear first hand of a terrible experience. Consumers have power and control like never before which is why it’s of utmost importance that you empower your front line members to make your customers experience the most amazing experience that it can be.
  5. Reputation and Prestige – you will never get everyone to buy from you so don’t try. Holding true to your core values will draw customers to you while making your store unique, distinct and trustworthy.
  6. Safety and Well-being – identity theft continues to rise and privacy risks are regularly exposed. It doesn’t matter if it’s your website or mailing list, you need to assure your customers that you have processes in place to product their identity and privacy when they do business with you.

Successful marketing begins with telling your story. Stories have been used throughout history to tell us where our ancestors came from to the parables of Jesus that explain truths.

So, what is YOUR story? What is the story, the mission of your retail store? How are you telling that important story?

Trust + Story = genuine customer satisfaction, growth, profit and impact.