Building TRUST instead of loyalty

I was thinking about branding and customer loyalty the other day. Hugh at gaping void pointed out that a brand wasn’t a thing it was a place… and that’s a pretty cool concept. But when it comes to business all we really want to do is get our customers to TRUST us… you don’t get loyalty without trust.

Kryptonite bike locks were a great example of a brand that had loyal customers buying their locks to keep their bikes safe. But when a video surfaced on the internet showing how to crack a kryptonite lock with a pen lid, people no longer trusted the kryptonite brand.

All that loyalty disappeared with a single video… you see, people TRUSTED kryptonite to keep their bikes safe.

People trust apple to make cool music players and laptops but when apple breaks that trust by DRMing music downloaded form its music store or their laptops overheat etc… then people lose their trust in Apple and start looking at someone else to trust.

You get the idea. A brand is a place people head to because they can TRUST the product or service.

McDonalds isn’t the greatest restaurant in the world but you can trust that the food will taste the same and the menu will be the same at any McDonalds around the world. And that’s why people go to McDonalds.

So when you’re building your brand you have to remember that all you’re doing is building trust. Don’t kid yourself that you’re building loyalty… you build loyalty with better products or services… you can try to buy loyalty with discounts, loyalty programs etc but that makes it easy for someone else to BUY your customers away from you.

Just some thoughts that might inspire a chapter in the book one day.

Published in: on September 7, 2006 at 2:34 pm Comments Off on Building TRUST instead of loyalty

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