A recent Harvard study conducted by Amy Cuddy determined that people judge you based on two criteria:

  1. Competence – Can I respect this person?
  2. Warmth – Can I trust this person?

Ideally you should convey both in your personal and business branding but which is more important when branding your business?  Most people would think competence is the most important factor which is why they try to prove they are smart and competent enough to get their clients.

Interestingly, warmth and trust is the most important factor when people are choosing who they want to work with.

How should you build trust in the eyes of your ideal clients?  Developing a strong and consistent brand is the best way to gain trust with your customers. You want your values, mission, messaging, and personality to remain consistent and likable. In order to gain and keep the trust of your customers you must make sure you know exactly what you stand for a stick with it.

If your customers have come to rely on you for the lowest cost items then you don’t want to switch products up unannounced and offer a high priced item.  They’ll feel as if you’re trying to gouge them.  On the other hand, if you’ve developed a prestigious brand where customers know they are paying premium prices for high quality, and you offer a cheap item then they’ll feel ripped off.

Forbes lists trust as the most important factor in business success today.  The article goes on to say, “In many ways, the world is getting more complex and impersonal. Not that long ago, the average person knew the people and businesses with which they exchanged money and services. You and your family would have been on a first-name basis with your grocer, butcher, shoemaker, and so forth. Now, as populations expand and more and more commerce is conducted online, you’re more likely to order your goods and services by pressing keys on your computer or smartphone. The impersonality of these exchanges requires a great deal of trust.”

But how does branding build trust?  Consistency and knowing what to expect from your business will build relationships where your customers will trust you and want to spend their money with you.  They’ll sign up for your e-mail list, buy from you, and your business will pop into their head when they think of a service they need that you offer.  Just by seeing your logo they’ll know what it stands for.

Branding is relationship building.

Branding is trust building.

Trust and relationships are the NUMBER ONE indicator of business success.

Whatever you do, DO NOT skimp on branding.  It is crucial for the long-term success of your business.

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