Credibility of Brands
In light of the huge numbers of products on the market and the resulting homogeneous product landscape, more and more companies engage in exaggerated marketing measures to try to ensure their products' omnipresence. Customers, however, driven by frequent disappointments and scandals, are developing a critical attitude toward such marketing messages. Enabled by the transparency of the internet, they autonomously select information and check whether a company's communication is truthful.
The new brand currency for customer loyalty, then, is brand authenticity – and in this context credibility. This directly impacts brand attractiveness and brand strength: The more credible the brand, the more customers are willing to remain loyal to the brand and become its advocate (fan). Customers who feel wrongly informed will distance themselves from the brand.
The starting point of credibility is thus the match of company performance and brand communication. Any disparity with regard to this match and untruthful communication of performance quickly evokes an impression of false pretenses (such as greenwashing). Vice versa, customers become disoriented if the communication is not in balance with the performance or the brand values and lags behind them. In both cases, perceptions are distorted, which jeopardizes customer trust.
Credibility and trust can be fostered through:
- Keeping the brand's performance promise
- Information transparency of the company
- Emphasis on the brand history
- External, officially recognized certifications
- Recommendations of other customers
- Intrinsically motivated brand ambassadors