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Can I Trust You?

"Trust me."

When someone we love offers us that line, there's a whole history preceding that statement that helps us make our judgment call to believe or not believe. Trust is a cornerstone of any healthy relationship. Mama always says, "Without trust, you don't have much of anything." She's right. Trust is the spring of living water for a relationship to blossom into the beautiful flower it's meant to be.

Last week, we talked about the initial spark that occurs between two strangers whose paths cross to whisk them off on the journey called love. That initial chemistry is the catalyst for every great partnership. Along with an undying level of commitment, respect, gratitude, and communication, trust is essential to keeping those fires of love alive and well. It would behoove us to remember these are the fundamental needs of not just personal relationships but also business ones.

Marketing is the catalyst for building trust. For any nonprofit or association, when a supporter can trust in your brand, that shows the world you are credible, reliable, and deliver on all of your promises.

"Well, how do I build trust in my brand?" you might ask.

Trust builds on actions over time. It's in the history of your existence that you find the fabric of trust. What you do over time is crucial to the vitality and longevity of every association. Every time your brand advocates for a product or service through any marketing channel, you are inadvertently asking for trust. Brands that go above and beyond expectations gain members' loyalty and affection that can withstand the test of time.

Better Business Bureau's National Programs (BBB NP) boasts four different self-regulation programs that advocate for truth in advertising. Truth and trust are like a movie date with popcorn. You can't have one without the other. Ultimately they help businesses establish the highest level of trust with their consumers through self-regulation that ensures truth is the outcome.

Recently, we sparked up a fantastic conversation on an episode of The Bistro, BBB NP's national podcast, centered on social media influencers and the transparency, or lack thereof, necessary for this advertising medium. If you're a social media fanatic, then you are well aware of influencers using their platforms to promote their current favorites of pop culture and products. However, did you know the Federal Trade Commission requires all social media influencers to make it clear the nature of their relationship to the brand?

The technical term is "material connection," and it must be obviously stated in all posts. These regulation efforts will continue to advocate for trust in marketing as our digital age continues to evolve.

Just as online dating apps have changed the game of love, social media has changed the game of advertising. What hasn't changed are the timeless necessities that both of these concepts stand on — truth and trust.


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