WATERTOWN, MA (February 22, 2011) – Corey McPherson Nash (Corey), a leading national branding and design firm, has determined 2011 the “Year of Brand Trust,” and offers insights based on its 27 years of experience in helping companies connect through verbal and visual branding.
Today, consumers expect a deeper level of transparency and intimacy. Brands have to be consistent about not only building trust but also maintaining it. Consumers expect companies to keep their promises, and when they don’t, companies are often not prepared for the backlash. In 2011, Corey McPherson Nash sees brands continuing to learn the hard way that breaking the trust of customers is a bigger detriment than ever before.
“In 2010, we saw too many companies lose sight of the core essence of their brand values and the results were disastrous,” said Chris Klaehn, Partner and Director of Brand Strategy at Corey. “As we saw from the crises’ faced by companies like HP, British Petroleum, J&J and Toyota, recovery from a breach of trust is a long cycle. Rebuilding trust does not happen overnight. It now takes a significant amount of focus and effort. Consumers are less likely to forgive and forget.”
What can companies do differently in the day and age of social media to emphasize their commitment to brand trust and customer loyalty?
• Be transparent. It sounds cliché, but if you’ve made a mistake, own up to it. Case in point: don’t do what the CEO of Toyota did.
• Communicate quickly in a crisis. If you don’t have a crisis communications plan that includes how you’ll implement social media channels, get one. Fast. If you don’t, someone else will. Case in point: Kenneth Cole.
• Advocate for Your Brand. Use social media to help shape the external perception of the company. Engage with customers and fans. Southwest Airlines was an early leader and continues to win over its customers through savvy online communication.
• Involve your customers. Like it or not, consumers today expect to have a hand in your business and product development/direction. Use them to your advantage to help shape or reshape your business. Own up to your mistakes. Domino’s did.
Remember, a brand embodies everything about your organization—your products, your services, your mission, your vision, your people. Branding comes from listening and knowing your internal and external constituencies and acting on what you learn.
The ears, eyes and hands of your brand are everywhere, especially with the advent of mobile media. Hear more about what Corey predicts on branding and mobile by viewing their video Making the Most of Mobile.
Making the Most With Mobile from Corey McPherson Nash on Vimeo.