Trust is the lifeblood of business. If the trade loses trust in your brand or your company then that results in lost listings, sales and profits. Brands should always focus on how they foster trust from the trade, whether that’s retailers, wholesalers or foodservice professionals.

Last blog, we looked at the four building blocks of trust and discussed how brands can use them to form their trade campaign's messaging. Here, we look at the most effective tools that brands can use to grow trust.

Case studies  

Having a retailer, publican or other independent business owner vouch for your brand is gold dust. Businesses are much more likely to listen to trust a peer’s view on a brand than the company that owns it. Nevertheless, there are some rules to using case studies that brands should remember.

Most importantly, consider the language that the case study is written in. Does it sound like a small business owner or does it sound like a London-based marketeer? By all means correct the grammar and make sure that the case study is well-written and flows correctly, but don’t lose the personality behind the words in the process. Try to keep case studies as verbatim as you can.

The second thing to consider is to make sure the case study is specific and useful. A case study from a retailer that explains how they increased sales of a product and where they stocked it is much more useful than them waxing lyrical about how much they like it. Bold brands should consider leaving in the negatives to be seen as authentic.

Finally, case studies should be updated frequently. If you’re using the same quote for months on end it will start to look like there is only one business owner who likes your product. Consider creating a pipeline of case studies and rotate them between titles to keep them as fresh as possible.

Research and stats 

Producing or citing research is a great way to drive trust in your brand’s credibility. Commissioning an operator, retailer or shopper survey into your category and any challenges around it can be hugely beneficial to the trade. If you’re creating research into your own brands, it’s best to work with a third-party to avoid conflict.

Research should contain a market robust sample, reflective of the target group. The specifics will vary depending on who you are surveying. Questions should also be compliant with Market Research Society guidelines, so it’s best to work with a research agency if you’re unsure.

Appear in trusted environments  

Brands and companies that support trusted editorial can benefit from the trust that the trade has in that environment. Research by Newsworks on national news brands found average ad dwell time is 1.4 times higher in a hard news environment. Campaigns that use news brands are 74% more likely to deliver market share growth and 58% more likely to deliver profit.

We see this as relevant in B2B too, particularly in titles that have a subscription cost for readers. If a business is paying for a title, then they expect its editorial to be more trustworthy. Indeed, engagement is 50% higher on premium editorial sites than during free browsing.

Brand should consider appearing in trusted news environments and events. Award shows are common – but supporting the ones that are genuinely seen as credible thanks to a robust methodology can still grow trust. 

Conclusion

We believe brands should place 'trust' as a metric of equal importance to opportunities to see and clickthrough rates. Any brand can spend money in driving awareness but trust is the differentiator. It is the difference between retailers having to stock your brands and wanting to stock your brands.

By employing one or more of the tools outlined above, brands can grow the trust that the trade has in their products and services. The result will be more listings, more sales and better connections with independent business owners.