I have never met a business owner that didn’t believe in their product or service – which is how it should be!

Unfortunately, the kinks in the brand’s system start to reveal themselves through the consulting process. Over time, negative reviews and employee turnover begin to shed light on areas that need a boost. Too often, business owners don’t see the kinks and are so stuck in “this is how it’s always been” that they can not accept the need for change. Honesty helps brands adjust and rise to meet demand with higher customer retention!

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant – being real makes you shine even brighter in an age of fakery.” Forbes 2019 Top Trends to Watch

Skepticism is the new trust! Consumers are less interested in what a brand has to say about themselves. In 2019, consumers want to hear what others have to say about their experience with your brand. Brand misinformation will turn consumers away faster than a teenager can say “I told ya so.” The war on fakery has consumers seeking out brands that align with their values and project honesty.

Every business must create personal interactions to build trust with consumers. Unlike Walmart, small companies can’t get away with poor customer service. Customer service is an area for brands to leverage personal communications and build trust. Social platforms also offer an opportunity for brands to align with consumer values, solve community problems, speak toward lifestyle instead of self-promotion, and “get real.” Brands are bridging the trust gap by creating in-store and community building experiences alongside their e-commerce/digital strategies.

Internet road rage has spilled over into brand recommendations on platforms like Facebook. Jilted consumers run to the nearest platform to share their negative experience. Some companies use the risk of a negative testimonial as a reason to avoid social media rather than adapting and working on brand experience. The person who shares a negative experience on social media will also share with friends, in person… avoiding social platforms won’t help a brand. Work on building a strong rapport with customers, encourage positive feedback online and take negative online reviews as a chance to show consumers how your brand interacts with unsatisfied customers!

“Be vocal about your brand values and physically and financially demonstrate your commitment to it.” Forbes 2019 Top Trends to Watch

2019 is the year for policies and marketing strategies borne of honesty, transparency, and generosity.