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Building business value through trust, love, and loyalty

Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Oprah Winfrey and Gale King. Bert and Ernie.

These are just some examples of famous friendships that have withstood the test of time. Loyal friendships based on trust, honesty, and shared values. Like these enduring friendships that are built on such values, brands can build durable relationships with consumers through trust. At a time when consumers are expecting brands to lead in helping employees and  supporting causes that are important to them, Marketing with Purpose makes a difference.

At Microsoft Advertising, we set out to discover what trust means to consumers, especially the role it plays in driving purchase consideration. 85% of consumers told us that they won’t purchase from a brand they don’t trust. How can brands learn from the psychology of friendship to acquire and retain consumers?

Our Accelerating Brand Performance through Trust, Love, and Loyalty research highlights one universal truth: shared values between consumers and brands drive value. Trust, love, and loyalty create an opportunity for brands to develop an authentic relationship with consumers and maximize purchase consideration through the trust curve.

Earn trust through responsibility, values, and inclusion

Trust, love, and loyalty all help drive purchase consideration for a brand and are all closely related.
 
  • Trust starts with putting people first by respecting their needs. This includes protecting their privacy through transparent policies and secure data systems. Following ethical business practices. Taking into consideration accessibility needs. Delivering on promises made in marketing and advertising. This foundational layer creates a sense of security consumers need to build trust.
  • It then extends beyond responsibility to understanding what people value and identifying how your core brand values align. This creates shared beliefs that impact trust and lead to greater love and loyalty. It’s an opportunity to uncover consumer trends, such as how consumer intent has shifted around the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Understand who your audience is and what they believe in, so you can communicate how your products and services are made for someone like them.
  • Next, building trust by being inclusive with design, marketing, and advertising drives greater trust, authenticity, and purchase intent. This is an opportunity to practice deliberate curiosity and take on an inclusive consumer mindset. By doing so, you can drive business value by reaching and appealing to more people.
 
While there are multiple layers to earning trust, authenticity and the ability to cater to consumers are key drivers of trust, love, and loyalty.    

There are nuances to building trust within different verticals

One of the main goals with this research was to understand key attributes that help build trust within verticals. We have found some similarities, as well as differences such as the idea of authenticity and the idea of “for someone like me” is presented differently by vertical.
 

For Automobile brands:

For auto consumers, authenticity is about accountability through delivering on promises made in your advertising, and proactively solving problems. For example, if your brand is focused on safety features, consumer verbatim should support how their backup camera may have saved them from reversing into an obstacle.

It’s also important for auto brands to make consumers feel as if the brand is made for them and that it aligns with their values. This can include highlighting where the vehicle is built or its gas-efficiency feature. An example is to use Responsive Search Ads to show the right message at the right time.
 

For Financial Services brands:

Unsurprisingly, it’s particularly important for consumers to understand how their personal data will be used by financial services brands. Being responsible with how your brand handles data isn’t enough. Consumers demand upfront transparency. They want to understand how their information is going to be used to optimize their experience with your brand, whether their information will be sold, and that they have control with what belongs to them.

For financial services brands, authenticity equates to a strong customer experience, providing peace of mind, hassle-free experiences, and exceptional customer service.
 

For Retail brands:

Brand safety is key for retail brands to build trust. Where your message shows up is as important as the creative. Partner with publishers and advertising platforms that give you transparency on where your ads are appearing. As well, have safeguards in place to ensure a safe environment for your brand. The Microsoft Audience Network is an example of having massive reach you can trust.

For retail brands, authenticity is about value. Consumers want appropriate quality for the price they pay, along with unbeatable deals. 

To make consumers feel like the brand is made for them, retailers will need to have the right products. This includes having the high-quality products consumers are looking for. Location extensions can be an effective way to highlight what consumers need quickly.
 

For Travel brands:

Representation is growing in importance across all consumers. Travel consumers want to see advertising that reflects many different types of cultures and values and that are void of stereotypes. This is why inclusive marketing is essential for your brand.

As travel provides an escape, consumers are looking for authenticity through experience. Consumers want travel brands to understand and recognize them as a person, taking their preferences into consideration. Imagine walking into a hotel, seeing your favorite drink on the table based on your last survey, and a list of suggested attractions based on who you are traveling with. Consumers are looking for travel brands to go above and beyond in recognizing their uniqueness.

This authenticity also translates into the brand being for them. Giving them a wide variety of products, providing relevant information to help make most of their trip, and being near locations that are of interest are the keys to creating value.

Much like a loyal friendship built on mutual respect and trust, brands can do the same with consumers by showing people that they come first. Take an in-depth look at insights from our research Accelerating Brand Performance Through Trust, Love, and Loyalty and the accompanying webcast to incorporate the findings into your marketing strategy and drive business results.

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