Trust is essential to any successful relationship. Since consumers have to part with money or personal information in their dealings with brands, trust is especially important.

However, confidence takes time to build, it starts out small and grows over time. Therefore, established brands with a large base of existing customers, a legacy and mountains of social proof have a key advantage that the challenger brands must overcome.

So what can young challenger brands do to gain the trust of consumers, even in their infancy? To find out, Attest recently surveyed 1,000 British consumers.

1. Prioritize the product

Across all industries and demographic groups, ‘good quality products / services’ are overwhelmingly ranked as the highest factor in ensuring trust (54%).

Source: Certificate

For over 50% of the population, trust cannot be created just by good marketing. These consumers will only build trusting relationships with brands that keep their promise of great products and services. (A lesson learned the hard way by the very costly public implosion of Juicero.)

It is natural that we are attracted to brands that we have fond memories of. As a result, brands that experience execution and fulfillment issues often struggle to regain consumer trust.

The emphasis on quality products and services is great news for the challenger brands. The fact that they are new to the market does not exclude them from contention on the basis of this criterion. In fact, they often create superior products and services, innovating the way traditional brands struggle.

For example, we have seen the rapid growth of subscription services, prioritizing the quality and ease of delivery that consumers demand. Providing a hassle-free and memorable experience contrasts directly with traditional delivery methods.

Just think of the beautifully designed packaging used by these consumer subscription deliveries, and the innovative designs they use to ensure the package gets through the mailbox, saving you a dreaded trip to pickup. from the post office.

Accompanied by quality products, they quickly secure a regular customer base who diligently pays their subscription bill each month, simply by improving one aspect of the supply chain.

2. Hipster or heritage

Legacy, reputation and reliability combine to make a very compelling argument for trusting a brand; you know what you’re going to get.

This isn’t necessarily bad news for young brands: the legacy can be skillfully woven into the narrative, while also incorporating elements that add freshness and surprise to a proven formula.

At only 16 years old, Tyrells is not yet old enough to drink or drive. Despite this, the brand is a trusted household name, considered a traditional British product. The black and white photographs on its packaging literally add age. It’s a stroke of genius, designed to get consumers to associate the brand with British history, thus creating a legacy.

If a challenger brand wants to gain the trust of people aged 35 or older (necessary to move from “niche” success to “mainstream” success), it’s worth noting that Attest’s research shows that “ well established ”is crucial to establishing it.

Therefore, a marketing strategy that ties your brand to traditionalism, old-fashioned values ​​or “britishness” can accelerate the process of heritage development and gain the trust of these consumers.

3. Social presence

In the Attest study, 7.4% of UK consumers named a brand they had used for less than a year as their most trusted, giving a positive outlook for competing brands; a significant minority are quick to trust.

Source: Certificate

What attracts consumers to a new brand and immediately helps them gain their trust? As the numbers above show: strong environmental credentials, reliable payments and clear terms and conditions.

For established businesses that have had loyal customers for more than five years, social issues are almost completely ignored; what is most likely to maintain consumer confidence over time is the provision of quality products.

Source: Certificate

Take-out? A progressive policy on environmental issues, payment options and data processing can help challenger brands to gain consumer confidence in the first place, allowing that confidence to take hold over time (through good quality products and services).

When established brands experience a social, payment or data scandal, your brand challenger can be there to provide a trusted alternative to socially conscious consumers.

Toms is a company that has built its USP around an ethical business approach, and has enjoyed subsequent success since its inception in 2006 as a “one-for-one” company; donate a pair of shoes to someone in need for each pair purchased.

In conclusion

The strategy adopted by a challenger brand to establish trusting relationships with consumers is judiciously dictated by its target audience. It always pays to understand them well, to create a message that resonates.

For example, challenger brands targeting a younger audience can sing about their novelty, their innovation and their social responsibility; while brands targeting the older generations are wiser to approach branding with the veneer of heritage.

For all challenger brands, however, the overriding objective must remain: to develop high quality products and services, to provide consumers with positive experiences and to ensure customer loyalty.

Read Attest’s full report here.

Beth McGarrick is Content Manager at Attest.

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