Brand trust. It sounds like something out of an economics handbook. But it could just be the thing that makes or breaks your business. The following headline led me to re-examine some of the things we do every day in business.
Edelman survey: Trust in all media plunges!
You can read more here.
Quite simply it makes me so sad: sick to my stomach in fact.The results of this survey indicate that the vast majority of people operating online have encountered liars. Damned liars in fact.
Why can’t more of us be truthful? Why don’t we care about our own personal reputation and that of our clients? When working online (or anywhere else for that matter) the most important thing to me is that I am dealing with others honestly, and that they do the same in return.
Brand Trust: Is this what it’s come down to?
The following findings (along with a lot more) are sad testimonials to the number of people who look upon their friends and associates as just someone else to make a quick buck off.
- Trust in information from friends and peers, “people like me,” dropped by 20 points, from 47 to 27 percent.
- Trust in information from digital media–blogs, social networks, and free content sources like Wikipedia or Google news, remains low: only between 11 percent and 22 percent of respondents express trust in information about companies from these sources.
Are you just another person who’s building a brand on a lie? It can’t last and it won’t. We should all do our bit right now to stop the lies. Stop misleading people and learn to think long and hard before we print anything online. Our livelihoods may depend on it.
You can fool some of the people all the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all of the time. My apologies to Abraham Lincoln but that’s almost a universal formula.
Building Your Brand in an Environment of Trust
Building brand trust is (or should be) a very serious business. Here are a few rules to make sure your trust-meter remains intact:
- Never lie or misrepresent yourself or a product or service.
- Never back up someone you know is lying, either in words or by endorsing them via social media.
- Don’t be afraid to call someone out if you know for sure they’re lying.
If you don’t do it, perhaps no one will. And it’s an interesting thing that if you show some courage and stand up to someone who’s doing something you disagree with, very often others will support you: they agree with you but they don’t have the personal courage to do what you’ve just done! You don’t need to do it publicly either. You’ve still done the job if you contact someone privately if you know that they’re contributing to the growing environment of mutual mistrust because they’re not operating ethically in whatever way.
Consider also that creating a fake Twitter account to air your views might just be another part of our problem. Too many people are hiding behind fake social media personas where they feel it’s OK to do and say things that they’d probably never consider doing in real life. But then again, maybe they would if they knew no one would find them out and that’s the very root of the problem we have here.
It’s a well known cliche that in war truth is always the first casualty. Let’s work to make sure that in years to come our grandchildren don’t say ‘when the Internet was born truth laid down and died.’
That was my periodic Rant. Consider it over.