When we think about the good relationships in our lives, trust always sits at the heart. When we trust we can be vulnerable, we forgive, we openly share. Relationships without trust fail, while when we trust, they deepen and grow. This basic human behaviour is reflected in our newest Trust data on brands.
There has always been a symmetry between how we feel about brands and how we feel about our relationships. This has actually been used by marketers for years – brand love and brand desire has been the arrowhead to marketing. However now there is a shift. Desire and love can only flourish if first there is trust. And this trust has to show up in many more ways than tokenistic marketing.
Trust is the bedrock to unlocking deeper, more meaningful connections. But in today’s cultural landscape, fueled by the uncertainty of the pandemic, mistruths that have spread through the media (into our homes and hearts, seeding doubt), and the acknowledgment that we are more connected than ever has only intensified the need for trust.
While the marketing industry has traditionally leaned on love as an important measure of a healthy brand-human connection, our latest research from the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Trust, The New Brand Equity found that, actually, it’s trust that people are seeking. When choosing brands, people believe trust in a brand (88%) is more important than love (81%) – perhaps because love, like relevance, is fleeting. Trust, however, is more elemental. It’s rational and emotional, it’s permission to take risk, and it’s a promise that we’ll be who and what you need us to be (now and in the future).