Brands are currently struggling with trust, as they confront the fast pace of digital evolution and the decline of trust itself within institutions.

However, some are trying to reverse all the damage and get back to basics, according to Aarron Spinley, researcher and growth strategist, SAP.

At an SAP event hosted by Which-50, Spinley explained that brands are figuring out to build trust in both their customers and their employees.

He said there are many vendors and solutions providers in the market who are almost trying to sell trust as a service.

“These days there is a lot of noise, a lot of confusion, so bringing it back to those core tenets is really important.”

Every brand knows — or should know — what its brand promise is, Spinley said. “If you’re a power company, it’s the power is always on. It’s very difficult to differentiate flavours of power between power retailers, but it’s about reliability of power, it’s about accuracy, easy to read bills, responsiveness when there’s an issue.”

Those sorts of things engender long-term customer satisfaction and customers just stay with the retailer because you give them no reason to leave.

“These aren’t the exciting things about brand activation, who you sponsor or the delightful moments you try and create for customers. This is the day in, day out, reliability of a brand. When organisations bring themselves back to those core tenets that’s really the thing that has the most value for them.”

He said trust is similar to je ne sais quoi. “We think about  the way trust forms over time in any relationship. It’s really just the tried and true — the boring stuff. It’s not necessarily the exciting things on mountain tops, it’s the stuff of the valleys, the stuff of the mundane.

“Sometimes the best strategy isn’t the sexy one. When it comes to trust, the foundation is laid with a relentless commitment to the basics, evidenced in every channel, as one reliable voice.”

Athina Mallis is the Editor of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which SAP is a corporate member. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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