Our Account Director for the Financial Services sector, Barry Clark, shares some thoughts on the question of trust…
Ever since 2008, British banks have been talking about how they can regain trust among consumers. They are not alone. Consumer trust in corporations is in decline and the Leveson Enquiry’s painful ongoing progress only serves to remind British citizens of the unprincipled, unscrupulous and unlawful behaviour of some businesses. Trust is at a premium.
But we wonder just how important trust is.
Consider this: our own research shows that significantly more consumers trust British Airways than budget operator easyJet. Yet easyJet carries more passengers each year than BA. And this is in a market where trust matters. You are, after all, inserting your frail human frame into a pressurised aluminium tube travelling six miles above the surface of the Earth at eight-tenths the speed of sound. If trust matters in any market it matters in airlines.
We’re not saying that trust isn’t important. Rather, our view is that trust is a consideration along with price, value and quality.
Most people wouldn’t trust an estate agent and yet the majority of us choose to employ their services.
Part of the problem is that trust is often talked of as a single, monolithic, entity. For most consumers trust is a complex, multi-layered concept, coloured in shades of grey. Only great brands, offering great service are truly and properly trusted. High-quality service engenders trust.
Trust also happens in the moment. In the moment when we manipulate the mouse over the ‘click to buy’ button. In the moment that we are in the showroom. In the moment when we are test-driving a car. At the point of purchase, previous – rather abstract – notions of trust can be disregarded as price and value tip the purchase decision. Who wouldn’t want to fly to Bergamo for £49? Why wouldn’t you take the chance on an unfamiliar brand if it offered conspicuous value?
We posit that trust is a factor in the purchase decision but it’s not a pre-requisite and neither is it the most important consideration. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
Photo: (Creative Commons) DrewbieDoo