Trust: Lifeblood Of Brands

Brad VanAuken The Blake ProjectDecember 21, 20101 min

We have conducted brand equity measurement studies for hundreds of brands and over the years, we have also helped leadership teams position hundreds of brands. What is the number one quality that people look for in brands? – Trustworthiness. What is the number one quality that management teams want to build into their brands? – Trustworthiness.

A brand is nothing if not trustworthy. If your brand is not capable of consistently earning its customers’ trust over time, it is doomed to failure. A brand must be predictable. It must be dependable and reliable. It must deliver on its promises. It must be responsive to its customers’ requests. It must be transparent in its business practices. And it must not lie to its customers. (BP CEO Tony Hayward pictured)

It is that simple. If your brand is not there, you have work to do. There is nothing more to say.

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Brad VanAuken The Blake Project


  • Paul Flanigan

    December 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    Brad, great points. I would argue that a brand be predictable. In many cases, brands with a proactive approach to their customers are what makes them so engaging. It’s not necessarily an “unpredictable” attitude so much as a forward-thinking attitude, seeking out new ways to engage customers. Better yet, part of the predictable nature of good branding is to take customers to places they didn’t know they needed to go.

    However, the scary part of that is when executives start talking without knowing what’s going on (see above!).

  • Brad VanAuken

    December 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    In general, people are more comfortable interacting with other people and brands that they can count on to behave in predictable ways. I learned this as a part of leadership training. A leader is perceived to be less trustworthy if his or her decisions and actions cannot be predicted. Having said that, I agree with you completely Paul regarding the advantages of anticipating and proactively meeting customer needs. Let that be the predictable part of your brand’s nature. I believe some brands, such as Apple, are predictable in just that way.

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