Branding and how to create brand trust has been a fascination and passion of mine for years now and in my job before I was a photographer I was fortunate to work with a brilliant branding and marketing team at a major Australian company. I was able to see that branding was more than a logo and see that trust in particular was so important.
Chaudhuri and Holbrook (2001) define brand trust as “the willingness of the average consumer to rely on the ability of the brand to perform its stated function”. One great example is of brand trust is with Apple after Steve Jobs died, and people started to lose trust in the brand. I felt it too and wondered if Apple would be able to continue being revolutionary without him. You want your clients and potential clients to have trust in your brand that you will do exactly as you’ve promised and that is why they invest their time and money into your product or service.
This is one of the most important parts of creating trust in your brand; consistency. When you are inconsistent it isn’t just about missing one week of blogging or a couple of days on Instagram but it sends a message that there is inconsistency in your business. That is not something you want people to think about you!
I strive to be consistent in how I speak and write, the type of images I share with my audience and produce for my clients and the frequency of when I communicate with my client and audience. For example at the moment I am sending an email to my subscribers and blogging consistently once a week on a Tuesday. No matter what is happening in my world, my audience knows and trusts that I have new content coming their way on Tuesdays.
Have you ever followed a brand or person and then they all of a sudden do something out of the ordinary that makes you take a step back? This happened to me not long after Instagram stories began where I was following a beautifully curated home decor feed and then when I saw this bloggers first few stories it created a gut reaction of “I really don’t want to see that”. There was a such a contrast that it changed the way I looked at the beautiful feed and ultimately I decided to stop following her!
No matter what you are doing you need to have integrity in everything you do and say and your viewer or client should be able to have trust that they know what you’ll be doing before you even do it. I made a decision a long time ago to stay away from political or current affairs on my blog and social media, avoid negativity and ultimately create a safe haven for my audience.
My blog is a place where I share past work and give education tips for photography, business and weddings while my Instagram is somewhere I can share my work and life in a more down to earth way. Instagram stories is even more raw where I share my love for cooking, gardening, my faith and a little more tongue in cheek humour that is a reflection of me. I feel like they all tie into each other even though they are very different and my audience knows what to expect however if I suddenly started sharing long rants or complaints it would probably create a similar reaction to my audience that I had with the home decor blogger.
Its an easy trap to fall into when you want to wow your client and promise them everything including the stars and the moon but this makes it difficult to actually ‘wow’ them. My preference is to under promise so I can over deliver and one example of this is giving myself a window of 6 weeks to deliver a gallery, although my clients often receive it within 3-4 weeks which creates a buzz of excitement. Under promising but over delivering gives your client the room to trust that you will always go above and beyond to make them feel special and appreciate the experience as your client rather than be watching the clock and feeling disappointed when you don’t do what you promised.