One of the (many) reasons Coca Cola is so successful, is because consumers Trust the brand. They trust that it will refresh them and help them to enjoy a relaxing moment, probably in the company of friends and family.
Trust in a company or brand is what makes people believe in it, makes them loyal to it and often willing to pay more for it than other, similar offers. If you don’t know whether or not consumers trust you, or how to go about increasing it, then read on.
A now famous, but anonymous quote states that:
“There may be consumers without brands, but there are no brands without consumers”
In other words, unless people purchase what you are manufacturing, then however you package and brand it, it will certainly not succeed. IPSOS MORI in the UK went even further, when they said that “There is little doubt that an organisation’s reputation is its most important intangible asset. Managed effectively, it can increase loyalty, commitment and support from a wide range of stakeholders. A strong reputation creates a positive halo around an organisation – generating a reservoir of good will as well as increasing the effectiveness of its marketing and communication activities.” In the case of Coca Cola, the brand is the company and the company is the brand, and as such the company needs to abide by the same rules as brand building.
Coke’s promotion “the Coca Cola Friendship Machine” (video) is a great example of how well Coca Cola understands its consumers really well. This knowledge and understanding comes not only from market research, but from all employees putting the consumer at the heart of their business. And they don’t just talk about how important their consumers are to them; they walk consumer-centricity day in, day out. They demonstrate it in their constant reevaluation of what they are communicating and how they are doing so. And they demonstrate it to their consumers by surprising and delighting them every day.
To be truly consumer centric takes work, but all (CPG / FMCG) companies need to reevaluate how they are integrating their consumers into everything they do. They need to start every decision or plan by thinking about their consumers first and what they would like the company to do. Even when there are problems, recalls or disasters to face, consumers are more likely to be understanding and stay with a brand that is open, honest and transparent; a company that tells people what has gone wrong and how they plan to put it right.
Whether good or bad, today the web means that news is shared globally FAST; you can’t avoid it. Everyone makes mistakes but people – and companies – we trust openly admit it, learn from it and move on. Isn’t that what you want your customers, consumers and clients to believe you can do too?
For more ideas on building brand equity: http://www.c3centricity.com/c3c-solution/products-and-services/brand/
This post is adapted from one that was first published on June 30th 2011 in C3Centricity Comments
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