Brand Reputation and Brand Trust in the Age of AIby@aigovbuzz
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Brand Reputation and Brand Trust in the Age of AI

by Meiko S. PattonMay 2nd, 2023
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Brands must captivate their audiences on a deeply emotional level in order to win their trust. 81 percent of consumers say they need to trust a brand before they make a purchase. Brands must not only be transparent and authentic, but they must also be quick to communicate the truth to their customers.

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The Emotional Silent Ambassador

Brand reputation and brand trust are crucial in this era of artificial intelligence. We are now living at a time in which most things can be manufactured with the help of AI, so how can a brand truly develop trust? The answer lies in an oft-overlooked emotional silent ambassador. Let me explain.

As the late great David Ogilvy once said, “You cannot bore people into buying your product. You can only interest them in buying it.” In the same way Ogilvy captivated audiences with his brilliant copywriting, brands must captivate their audiences on a deeply emotional level in order to win their trust.


The Currency of Trust

According to a study by Edelman, 81 percent of consumers say they need to trust a brand before they make a purchase. Nowadays, trust is not a “nice-to-have”; it’s a “must-have.”

In November 1971, Life magazine published a cover article entitled, “The cities lock up. Fear of crime creates a lifestyle behind steel.” The article detailed the growing concern over crime rates in major cities across the US, which led to an increased demand for security measures in residential areas. As you can imagine, citizens were installing locks, gates, and steel doors because of their fears. This widespread fear grew like a cancer as each person began to view their neighbor with suspicion.

While this incident happened half a century ago, and it seems not to correlate to brand marketing, think again. This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of building a strong brand reputation. Just as fear and mistrust can undermine a sense of community, a lack of trust in a brand can lead to decline not only in sales, but also in customer loyalty and adoption.

Brands that fail to establish trust with their customers risk becoming akin to the fortified home in the Life magazine article-cold, uninviting, and locked out. In contrast, brands that obsess about the customer experience in the way Jeff Bezos has at Amazon, are practically guaranteed to create strong lasting bonds with their customers, akin to close-knit communities that thrive because of their honesty and transparency.

How to Build Brand Trust

The Life magazine article of 1971 offers some valuable lessons for brands looking for ways to foster trust and secure their brand reputation.

  • Address CustomerFears. In 1971, citizens had real, tangible fears and they sought to alleviate it with more security measures. When customers have valid concerns about a brand, the brand must not shy away from providing a solution. Brands must admit fault and seek to rectify the situation as soon as possible. When brands seek to empathize with their customers, they are helping to foster a sense of trust and loyalty.

  • Be Transparent and Authentic. In the world of AI, many things can be manufactured or faked. Misinformation can spread literally overnight. Brands must not only be transparent and authentic, but they must also be quick to communicate the truth to their customers. Mistrust was at the root of the Life magazine article. When brands are honest and accurate with their information, it lessens doubts and dispels mistrust.

  • Create Positive Experiences. The reason I keep ordering from __Amazon__is the positive customer experience I have each and every time. This is especially true when I need to return something. There is never any hassle. Brands must incorporate positive experiences such as these into their daily interactions with their customers. When brands deliver exceptional customer service, it helps to build a strong brand reputation. Positive experiences ultimately helped the residents in 1971 to embrace their neighbors again.

  • Cultivate a Sense of Community.When you know the people in your neighborhood, it fosters a sense of belonging and connection. When brands engage with their customers, ask them questions, and seek their feedback, this creates a sense of community that is unmatched. When customers feel that they belong, it’s a win-win.

  • Let Your Yes Mean Yes. It took time for residents in 1971 to feel safe again. The same can be said of brand trust and reputation. It is something that is built over time. When brands say they will do a thing, they need to do that thing. If they say yes, they need to let their yes mean exactly that. This also has to do with their commitment to consistently deliver high-quality products for their customers. Over time by letting their yes mean yes, this fosters brand loyalty and enhances their brand reputation.

Coca Cola

The Emotional Silent Ambassador

In addition to the factors discussed, there is another more powerful and often overlooked aspect when it comes to brands building trust and brand reputation.

Have you ever seen a silent movie? Me either.

But one of my favorite all-time movies was Downton Abbey: A New Era. During that movie, they were filming a silent movie.

I was enthralled by the actors because they had to convey all their emotions and tell a story without saying a word. Their physical expressions, gestures, and visual cues all told a wonderful story, which created an emotional connection with the audience, with absolutely no dialogue. That

\absence of sound required me to pay more than the usual attention. That is also the case with a brand’s logo.

“A logo serves as a visual representation of a brand, embodying its values, identity, and what it stands for, all without saying one word. “

The silent movie evokes emotions and the same can be said of a well-designed logo. It represents at the very core the essence of the brand. A person can look at it and it immediately engenders a sense of love and loyalty or the exact opposite.

How A Good Logo Can Help Establish Trust and Brand Reputation

  • Recognition.A good logo is easily recognizable and memorable. When I think of the brands I buy from, I don’t think of their logos, but when I see that logo, I think of that company and I either associate good feelings with it or bad ones.

  • Emotional Connection. Just like with that silent movie, a good brand logo evokes emotions. When my mom was alive, I remember going to the bakery with her to get Hostess Twinkies when I was a little girl. When I think of that brand, I associate it with pleasant feelings, especially since I lost my mom. I have an emotional connection to that brand that will never be broken.

  • Simplicity. A good logo is timeless. It doesn’t go with the latest trends, it’s just simple, yet unique. There are so many words in the English language, but most people say the same words over and over again. Why? Because of simplicity. Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” A good logo makes you feel, and you’ll never forget how that logo make you feel.

Brand Trust

Final Thoughts

A good brand logo is your secret silent weapon when it comes to building brand trust and brand reputation. A logo that is easily recognizable, makes an emotional connection, and is simple and timeless serves as a silent beacon and ambassador for your brand helping to create a strong affinity with your target audience.

By investing in a well-designed logo, businesses can strengthen their brand reputation and reap the benefits of a loyal customer following. Just like in a silent movie, logos transcend language barriers, making them universally understood and loved thereby truly representing their respective brands as timeless ambassadors.