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Which brands are winning the game of trust?

Plus how to annihilate brand trust in 11 easy steps

Happy Thursday Fringers,

Today, let’s talk about trust and your brand and how to completely annihilate it. Yes, you read that right. Sometimes you gotta know what NOT to do, to do the right thing.

Trust matters more than ever in a world of constant upheaval, economic uncertainty, and a steady decrease in optimism.

But first, let’s start with…

The world’s most trusted brands

Marketing Consult’s 4th annual Most Trusted Brands report showed few surprises, if any at all. But it’s always helpful to see what people are putting their trust in, except Gen Z, who seem to be in their trustless feelings.

Most trusted in the world

From the top 10 economies in the world. Italy (home of Ferrari, Gucci, and Nutella) trusts WhatsApp?! Didn’t see that coming.

Band-aid? Really, USA?

Most trusted by industry

Kudos to everyone in Retail and eCommerce working their tails off. But this makes sense considering they’re the most brand-focused out of all these categories.

Retail & eCommerce most trusted (by industry)

But watch out eComm. Food and beverage is on your tail.

Most trusted in Retail & eCommerce

Amazon’s goal to be the most customer-obsessed company in the world continues to power their number one position.

If you made your company the most customer-obsessed company in your sector, industry, city, or whatever, what would that mean for your business? Would it change in ANY way?

I’m seeing a lot of red

Most trusted in Apparel

“Travis, you’re a year too late.” You probably don’t know about that obscure Levi’s commercial, but it still sticks to me. Who the heck is Travis? And what is he late for? Anyway, Levi’s isn’t late — they’re number one by a slim margin over Hanes.

Generation Expectation Gap

Here’s an interesting one. You know all that hype about personalized recommendations? Well, apparently, “most” adults could care less about it. But not Gen Z.

Gen Z also requires that products meet expectations and that your customer service is top notch. You can keep your coupons.

But all agree that information security is a must.

Most trusted in the USA

Do you see an outlier here? Lysol, anyone? And kudos to The Weather Channel, for being the most trusted media channel in the US. More trusted than news. More trusted than the 5 networks. Come to think of it, that wasn’t too hard of a feat, was it?

What does this say about longevity?

Most trusted social media brands

And the winner goes to… YouTube, by a wide margin. Seriously, is YT social media? I guess.

And LinkedIn and Pinterest are neck-n-neck. But where’s Twitter? Facebook? Not even registering is not a good sign.

Only 5 survived the deep fake apocalypse

How to properly annihilate brand trust

Now that we’ve seen who’s winning the brand trust game, don’t you want to know how they’re doing it? Or what NOT to do?

And for this issue, we’ll focus on what not to do. So, here’s my top 11 tongue-in-cheek ways to kill trust in your brand. Let me know how many you’re using them in the comments below. Let’s begin.

1. Hide Everything!

Who needs transparency? Keep your customers & employees guessing. Nothing says "Trust me" like a total lack of clarity about your operations, pricing, or policies. Remember, mystery novels are bestsellers for a reason!

2. Embrace Inconsistency

Deliver amazing service one day, subpar the next. Nothing keeps customers on their toes like never knowing what they'll get. It's like an exciting game, only the prize is customer frustration.

3. Forget Quality

Quality, schmality! Who needs consistent, high-quality products when you can serve up a delightful smorgasbord of the good, the bad, and the broken? Don’t people love variety?

4. Customer Service is Overrated

Remember “patience is a virtue”? Make sure customers develop this virtue by leaving them on hold, missing callbacks, or even disconnecting calls. They'll appreciate the character-building exercise.

5. Privacy, Shmivacy

Data protection? Boring! Show your customers how open you are by sharing their data freely. Remember, sharing is caring.

6. Say One Thing, Do Another

Promise the moon, deliver a pebble. Misalignment between your words and actions isn’t hypocrisy, it’s creative license.

7. The Buck Stops... Somewhere Else

Responsibility is so last year. When problems crop up, play the blame game. It’s like musical chairs, only with accountability going to someone else. How else will you win 100% of the time?

8. Who needs ethics, anyway?

Cutting corners and shady practices is just you being more efficient. After all, a fast buck is better than a slow dime.

9. Shun Feedback that’s hurtful

Those who don't learn from their customers and act on their critical feedback are doomed to... something, probably. But who cares about their ‘negative’ criticsm? Nobody knows better than you, amirite?!

10. Surprise with Hidden Costs

Everyone loves a surprise, especially when it's a mysterious extra fee on their bill. It's like a magic trick, making money disappear from their wallet to yours.

11. Set Impossible Expectations

Advertise your product as a magical cure-all. When customers find out it isn't, they'll appreciate the cold shower of reality. Hey! It’s just marketing.

But seriously, trust is your most valuable currency. Want to build more trust? Just do what’s right by people. Involve them when you can. Share what you’re up to. Listen, listen, and listen some more. And trust your employees to do the right thing, and treat them right — they’re your front-line.

Final thoughts

How UX contributes to word-of-mouth

From my friends over at Growth Design, here’s a great case study on word-of-mouth using Tesla. I always love their interactive breakdowns, and I think you will, too.

Here are some good takeaways from Dan:

Emphasize Value Over Cost

Instead of focusing on what your customers are spending, show them what the value they are earning.

Peak-End Rule

We judge our experiences almost entirely by their peaks (pleasant and unpleasant) and how they ended.

A quick update on Rep AI

We’ve finally integrated ChatGPT. Now we have two powerful AIs working on behalf of eCommerce brands to engage shoppers and keep customers happy.

But more than that. We can now bring our product to everyone. The ChatGPT integration allows merchants to onboard within 5 minutes and have everything up and running in 10.

The AI will read and scan your entire website and respond to questions dynamically, and more conversationally.

We also just completed a rebrand. Check out our new style:

But more than style, there’s substance. Noam, our data scientist, reports that average conversions are roughly 13% and sales touched by Rep average about a 20% increase. Not too shabby for an AI.

Finally, we’re launching on Product Hunt next Thursday, June 1. If you’re so inclined, feel free to share feedback or upvote Rep when we’re live next week. We’ll announce in the next newsletter.

You can view our product page on PH here.

Until next time.


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