Marketing Magic: Get Known and Trusted
A few nights ago, I drove Carlos, my good friend and business associate from a supper meeting in midtown Manhattan to his home in Westchester. One of the topics we discussed was the effectiveness of the social media tool, LinkedIn. Carlos recounted how he mentored his small business clients about it’s not how many people you know, but how many people who know you.
Getting Known is Not Enough
The marketing value of getting known cannot be minimized. That said I’d raise the ante to getting trusted. After all, Bernie Madoff is “known” by lots of people. Enough said.
Getting Trusted is a Must
Trust always starts with listening. It always requires the demonstration of genuine interest and engagement in something valued by the person speaking to you. Exploratory questions and paraphrasing until “you get it” helps establish your engagement. Recounting your experience that is closely aligned with the speaker’s topic that confirms “you get it” is a good idea. Now before you offer to help, take a very detached position by offering advice that exclude you as part of the solution other than offering a relevant source or connection. This is especially true, if you’ve resolved a problem or seized a similar opportunity yourself and had a satisfactory outcome with you referral. Once your personal or business “brand” becomes synonymous with “trust” you are well on the way to winning friends and customers.
General Mills Bakes It In
So how do you bake trust into your brand? Easy. General Mills delivered what they promised time after time. They sought and received endorsements from athletes. They established school box top programs. They have associated consumption with fitness and heart health. They innovated by introducing many variations of their Cheerios brand. And finally, General Mills bakes trust into its Cheerios product by asserting that “so many moms trust” feeding their product to their “little ones.” Just how important is the “trust” message to General Mills? Very.
General Mills introduced “Cheerios” on May 1, 1941. So you would think they were “trusted” by now. Well they are, but that does not stop them from dedicating the entire back of their cereal box to proclaim their “trust” message. Nurturing trust is a continuing requirement when marketing and selling your value proposition. After all, General Mills and Cheerios is the brand we trust. Wal-Mart sells oats that are indistinguishable from Cheerios and are less expensive. Brand loyalty to General Mills overcomes the Wal-Mart cost disadvantage.
Starbucks Brews Trust
Nowhere is the power of the trusted brand better demonstrated than by Starbucks. The spread in price of a simple cup of coffee is often greater than 50% when consumers choose the Starbucks brand. The average price of a cup of coffee in the US is approximately $1.38. The average price of a Starbucks purchase is $2.10 for a no frills cup of coffee. That’s a 52% up charge for “trust”.
So while “getting known” is important, linking “known with trusted” moves markets.
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