This month we are putting a focus on all things TRUST related, so who better to sit in the hot seat this month in our Enquirer newsletter than Founder of Mettle Consulting, developers of industry leading trust analytics, Andrew Tucker:
You developed an interest in trust from a brand / business perspective, way before it became a buzz word – how did you come to be a trailblazer in this area? What is it that interests you about it so much?
Back in 1997 I had a bit of a shouting match in the House of Commons with the then Prime Minister Tony Blair just after he had said “You can trust me, I am a pretty straight kind of guy” I realised that trust was Blair’s most valuable asset and the rationale for New Labour – one of the most successful brand relaunches in history! Smart brands learn from politics so I went to Washington DC (New Labour’s source) for my PhD and ended up producing some of the seminar research on the subject of brand trust.
Why, in your opinion, is trust such a big issue in today’s brand world?
The US military has an acronym – VUCA. It stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity. It’s how consumers see today’s world. Trusted brands are the antidote to VUCA, a place of sanctuary in a crazy world. Our research shows that trusted brands gain market share from their competitors precisely because they counteract VUCA.
How do you go about analysing one brand trust value versus another?
We gather millions of relevant digital conversations, run them through our trust model and a bespoke machine learning tool we’ve built, and use a simple data viz to compare and contrast brands. Because trust is predictive of customers’ future behaviours, our analysis predicts which brands are likely to gain market share in future, and why. So brand owners can see what actions they need to take to drive growth (and become a hero inside the business!)
Which categories need to look at the trust issue the most? / Which categories are being affected the most by trust?
From our research over the last 10 years, we think trust is a key part of the business model for automotive, banking, consumer tech, fashion, food & drink, health & beauty, insurance, lifestyle, media, packaged goods, home retail, supermarkets, utilities. Asset managers and outsourcing sectors not so much.
Are brands seeing trust as an element to build into their marketing campaigns or is it more about brand behaviour?
In general, faster growing brands explicitly build trust through brand behaviour and then include that in their marketing, for example Dove, Ovo Energy, Pampers, First Direct, Aldi. Slower growing brands see trust as only part of their marketing campaigns, for example Pepsi, HSBC, Red Bull, Kelloggs, Intercontinental Hotels. The most successful brands walk the talk on trust, for example Mercedes-Benz and Tommy Hilfiger. They both have enough trust to grow without wasting effort on building more trust than they need.
What do you see the future of trust analytics being?
It’s going to replace sentiment in digital channels within 12 months. It will replace Net Promoter Score for customer experience within 24 months. It is already being built into brand owners’ KPIs so best get on board now!
Fancy hearing a little more from Andrew? Well he will be sitting on a panel of esteemed trust experts at this month’s Enquirer Series event on 27th September. Click here for more details.