Today’s evolving business environment has brought about many changes; one of the most significant shifts has occurred in the behaviour of the Australian consumers. Over the years, Australian consumers have transformed from being ‘smarter’ to being ‘empowered’, meaning that they are still using technology to shop but have adopted a broader range and are embracing it to become aware of research and buy new products. In addition, consumers will seek out consumers with similar tastes then share their opinions on-line and together decide which retailers have earned their trust. But why does trust matter? How can your brand build trust with consumers?
Why trust matters
Using the Castaldo Retail Trust Model from the SDA Bocconi School of Management, the 2012 Consumer Study reveals a direct correlation between trust, advocacy and consumer spend. Trust is important because it must be earned, and once earned it provides a ‘cognitive monopoly’, making your brand/product the consumer’s preference and reducing their need to shop around. This model enables trust to be quantified and measured; thus enabling correlations to be identified. Once this trust is earned the consumer will communicate their trust to other consumers with similar interests in the digital platforms that they are engaged with and across social media platforms such as forums.
How do retailers and brands build trust with consumers?
Trust comes in varying degrees and is something that can take years to earn, but only seconds to lose. In the 2012 Smarter Consumer Study we found that the best ways to develop trust with your consumers is to:
- Be authentic by engaging in your consumer’s preferred social networks and listening to their input.
- Demonstrate that you know them by providing products and promotions tailored to meet their needs
- Listen to what consumers say about your brand and embracing their insights
Once your business has leveraged these influencers of trust how can you gauge if your brand is trusted? In the same way that technology empowers consumers it can be harnessed to enable your business to listen and learn about your consumers and understand what keeps them happy.
How can IBM help?
IBM’s Global Business Services can help you create a business model that is designed around the consumers you are targeting. Building trust is an achievable goal, one which has a tangible impact on consumer spend. The question is – how ready is your organisation for today’s empowered consumer?