Trust and Places: Do People Really Notice?
by Rob Wolfe – Connected Places Global
“Trust is like the air we breathe. When it’s present, nobody really notices. But when it’s absent, everybody notices.”
What is your reaction to this Warren Buffett quote about trust as it relates to a places’s relationship with its clients–visitors, residents, and businesses? I think Buffet’s quote is thought provoking and goes a long way in defining the importance of trust, BUT I also think part of its message is debatable.
As consistently suggested by brand loyalty surveys of consumers and clients’ ever-growing reliance on social media to connect with companies and provide feedback & recommendations for others, I believe people DO notice the places/destinations that inspire trust. In fact, they reward those places that emit an aire of trust with brand loyalty in their decisions to come to your place and to spend money there, and brand advocacy in their social networking interactions. Not so for the not-so-trusted brands.
I’ve stated before that trust is the basis of long-term relationships (with clients, colleagues, employees, and friends), and the best way to inspire trust is to always deliver on your promises.
When it comes to your destination, the market has a very long memory and so does every stakeholder tied to your place and your brand. According to Mike Weisman of The Values Institute, “”The stronger the corporate culture of values, with employees who understand those values, the more likely the company will have strong connections with customers.” The same principle applies to the leaders of places and all the touchpoints people have with your place.
For more insight into companies that build and maintain trusting relationships and strong customer loyalty, and the engagement approaches they use to do it, see the April 2012 article “10 of the Most Trusted Brands in America.”
What do you think is the best way to establish trust with the target market for your place or destination?