Remember in late March when you received an email from every company you’ve ever done business with describing how they are responding to the pandemic? After the first dozen or so messages, you might have tuned them out. However, as the country begins to open up and businesses make changes in response to COVID-19, it has become increasingly important for brands to communicate these changes so customers know what to expect. Those communications are opportunities for brands to build trust.
Build Trust Through Consistency
Now more than ever before, brands that send consistent, clear, transparent messages are meeting a customer need – they’re building trust during a time when many people don’t know who to trust. But those messages are not limited to email updates. Brands build trust at every touchpoint including:
- Social media: how are your social media images and messages a reflection of your brand’s reality right now?
- Websites: are you publishing updated information on your website about products or services that have changed, or do you have outdated information on the website?
- Online purchasing: are you making it easy for customers to do business with you in a virtual environment?
- Customer service: are your frontline workers communicating the right messages to customers via phone, email or chat?
- In-store experience: if your brand has a physical storefront or an office space where clients and customers are meeting in person, what is that experience like? Is it consistent in each location so people know what to expect?
Branding is more than just the visual representation of your company – it’s the entire customer experience.
So if customers are experiencing your brand differently due to remote working or delayed shipping or curbside pickup – then your branding needs to shift along with that experience, and send a consistent message. One of our clients, Sentara Healthcare, immediately shifted all marketing to send a consistent message of safety, which our team has supported by creating signage, digital ads, website updates, print collateral, video and more.
Build Trust With Authenticity
Another way that brands are building trust is through authentic efforts to support their communities. Consumers value brands that are making an impact by showing compassion, supporting others, doing the right thing, or making a contribution in some way.
Your customers may decide if your brand is trustworthy based on your response to this health crisis.
Consumers want to know the story of how brands are changing in response to the pandemic – not just what a company is doing to keep their employees and customers safe, but how the company’s focus and values may be shifting.
One of our clients, LOCUS Impact Investing, was in the process of launching an initiative aimed at unlocking capital for loans in the areas of affordable housing, job creation and climate solutions. It was crucial for them to expand their mission and message to authentically speak to the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic, so they can continue to make the most impact.
Build Trust By Engaging
When we were forced to close our doors and shelter in place, most professional service businesses were able to quickly adapt to working from home. But as the “15 days to slow the spread” turned into weeks and months, we began to crave connection. And we turned to virtual means of engagement.
From Zoom meetings to social media to livestreaming, we want to stay connected when we can’t be together in person.
This shift to a virtual environment provided an opportunity for brands to change the way they engage with consumers.
The team at Red Orange wanted to connect with our colleagues and clients to talk about how we were all responding to COVID-19 as it began to affect our businesses. So we held our first virtual Coffee & Conversations event on March 26, giving marketing professionals and business owners a platform to engage in a meaningful dialogue that helped build trust and connection.
Want to talk about how your brand can build trust through consistency, authenticity and engagement? Tell us what’s on your mind and we’ll be happy to hop on the phone and chat about how Red Orange can help. When one business succeeds, an entire community succeeds. If you think we can be helpful to you right now, click the button below to email us to set up a time to connect.