#43 The Credibility Factor

Hello, friends.

Thought I'd share a revised article with you that I wrote a few years ago. I wanted to share it because it feels more relevant today than when it was published. Would love to discuss your thoughts, if you're so inclined. Hit reply and we'll find a time to chat. I hope you'll enjoy.

Most marketers and business founders I know, want to create an incredible brand. After all, who doesn’t want to build a brand, one people love, that affects lives, and changes the world?

We are no doubt in the Great Age of the Brand. – Tom Peters

Before you can build a brand that has market ubiquity, fosters loyalty and promotes advocacy, the proper foundation must be set. That foundation is credibility.

Credibility is defined as “the quality or power of inspiring belief.” All great brands do this. They inspire us to believe. We trust them.

There are two types of credibility, current credibility and past credibility.

Current credibility is earned by delivering on your promises. Take Amazon, for example. They have current credibility because customers trust their promises of fast delivery and access to everything you need/want.

Past credibility means trust was built over the course of years. This doesn’t make a brand exempt from staying relevant to its audience, but it gives them stored equity in the trust bank of our minds. Proctor & Gamble is a great example of this. They built credibility years ago with Tide, Crest, and Pampers, and have carried it through for decades.

Once you have credibility, how do you leverage it to build an incredible brand?

1. Instill Confidence
You must instill confidence with your audience. Apple makes stuff that works. Chanel gives people a sense of class and sophistication. People must have confidence in the brand and in what it will do for them. Companies mistakenly tout features all day long, but instilling confidence comes from communicating benefits.

2. Show Competence
Let’s face it, if your product or organization doesn’t perform, it won't survive. Beyond that, incredible brands do things better or at least in a more unique way than the others. Southwest Airlines shows customers how an efficient airline can run. Pixar shows us it knows how to tell great stories. There is no room for a brand that doesn’t deliver what the market wants.

3. Be Consistent
Whether you like the company or not, McDonald’s built an incredible brand on this principle. Customers like predictability. They want expectations to be met or exceeded. Tiffany and Co. executes this with their blue box. Starbucks executes it with espressos and coffee. Continuity must be present in every interaction with the customer.

Any damn fool can put on a deal, but it takes genius, faith, and perseverance to create a brand. – David Ogilvy

We have talked about laying a foundation of credibility. And have looked at three steps to moving from credible to incredible by instilling confidence, being consistent, and showing competence. Now, focus your marketing efforts on contributing to one or more of these elements.

Everything you do should move you one step closer to becoming incredible.

Until next time.


- David

P.S. Here's an Interesting article about Tesla's secret second floor.
P.P.S. Move over Helvetica. Futura is getting it's own book.
P.P.P.S. I'm still amazed at the flight deals found here.

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