In today's market, consumers are overwhelmed by choice and are simply seeking reassurance in what they purchase. CEO, Tiffani Graydon from Yealands Wine Group shares insight on the value of brand equity in trust.
During the course of your career, have you seen a shift in customer expectation? (In terms of transparency / trust / authenticity)
Yes, absolutely. I think our expectations of brands or services have increased whether you sit in the consumer, the customer or the suppliers’ chair. Technology has had a big role to play in this, fuelling our desire and ability to ‘research’ things at the touch of our fingers. Coupled with the rise of online businesses which provide similar services or products but often at far more competitive prices and more efficiently.
Globalisation or ‘borderless countries’ has also had an impact. It’s not unusual or difficult these days to access services or brands from other parts of the world, where they have already established brand equity.
From a wine industry perspective, one of the most common things we hear from consumers is that they’re overwhelmed by choice and are seeking reassurance in what they purchase, so brands which can build equity in trust certainly benefit from this.
Why is it important to build trust with your customer?
It’s like laying the foundation in a house. Without it, everything else will eventually start to fall down. Whether you have entered into a supply arrangement or they’re the end user, a customers’ trust in you has a direct and powerful influence over the success of your brand or service. An old sentiment but one which still rings true today is that it’s far more expensive to recruit customers than it is to retain them, so look at it like you’re saving money!
What do you think makes a trustworthy brand?
Consistency. Staying true to your purpose and delivering what you say you will (or even better, exceeding expectations). A brand that has a clear purpose and understands how it benefits people’s lives or improves their experiences will provide much greater reassurance and build a stronger bond. These things often sound simple but can be quite hard to master.
Which businesses do you think are doing it well?
Air NZ has done this particularly well over the last 5 years and has really built a reputation now which surpasses just great service and experiences. It has evolved into the next level of genuine brand love and trust from consumers.
What practical advice would you give to businesses who want to build more trust with their customers?
For B2B relationships, seek an understanding of your customers strategy and goals from the outset. Share your own strategy with them, discuss the common areas where there is alignment and where you can clearly deliver to their needs.
In terms of building ongoing trust, open up your ‘home’ to them and invite them into your world. Both metaphorically in terms of keeping them informed with your business developments, as well as physically. At Yealands we often host local and global customers and suppliers at our Seaview winery in Marlborough. It’s a truly memorable experience where we get the chance to connect with them more personally and they often tell us that they leave feeling like they’re now part of our team.
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