Five easy ways to build trust in your business

Trying to build trust in your brand? Start by doing these five simple things.

One of the simplest ways to build trust in your brand is through your everyday communications. Your regular communications and language can affect your brand as much as expensive campaigns.

Even the best advertising or publicity only reflects a moment in time. The way your brand presents itself day-to-day builds a long-lasting identity.

Here is something from an organisation who has a big initiative to lessen its impact on the planet. (Hint, you don't have to read the whole paragraph!)

"This will create an end market and new life for approximately 750 tonnes of recycled plastic per year – equivalent to more than 100m single-use plastic bags – and represents a significant step forward in accelerating Australia’s circular economy by creating local demand for rigid plastic (such as shampoo and laundry detergent bottles) recycled through local council yellow kerbside collection bins.

Compare it to this statement from another brand:

"This natural process reduces our carbon footprint and helps reduce climate change – and the packs are 100% recyclable."

What is your sense about the organisations behind each of these statements? And which would you trust?

Even in the short statements above, you can see trust-building features at work. Concrete language, familiar words, logical structure and audience empathy all build trust in our brands and help us to land our messages.

Use concrete language

When people read concrete language, they can conjure up a compelling image easily. That makes it feel more trustworthy. Researchers found the same statements scored as more ‘probably true’ when they used concrete language rather than abstract language. Concrete language refers to something in the real world - it is specific and precise. For instance, compare the specificity of 'reduces climate change' to 'represents a significant step forward in accelerating Australia’s circular economy'.

Choose familiar words

Familiarity is a precondition of trust according to studies. That’s why using words and language that are familiar to your customers is essential.

For instance, why say 'equivalent' when you could say 'equal'; why say 'de-couple' when you could say 'separate'? Actually, why say ‘de-couple’ at all?

Show clear, logical thought

It’s vital to show clear, logical thinking in your communications when you want to build trust says Harvard professor Frances Frei in her TED Talk. She tells people to start with their main message. Supporting information and explanations should come second.

The best newspaper journalism follows this top down structure. Writing in this way shows you can prioritise what’s important. You'll get your point across even if your customer is only skim-reading your news. And customers do skim-read because they’re busy!

Be empathetic

Showing empathy by respecting your customer's time helps show you are trustworthy.

Getting to the point about what your brand is doing well is going to do far more to build trust than waffling on in great detail.

Tomorrow Inc can help you build trust through your good work

Tomorrow Inc works with great businesses doing good things. Often, businesses approach us because they find it hard to spread their positive stories. We show you how to strengthen your brand and build trust through your corporate responsibility.