What do Shoppers Drug Mart, Behr paint and Tim Horton’s have in common? They’re among the brands Canadians trust most, as revealed earlier this year in an annual Ipsos survey for Reader’s Digest.

Other leaders in their categories: Canadian Tire, Jamieson vitamins, TD Canada Trust and Sephora. As Ipsos noted, “For brands in an increasingly competitive market, consumer trust is a highly valuable asset.”

That asset can translate into transactions. Consider:

  • In a situation where quality and price are similar, 93% of Canadians tend to purchase from the company they trust more.
  • 81% are willing to pay a little more to support a product or service from a trusted company.
  • 86% agree that they pay more attention to companies they trust.
  • 77% are more likely to remember ads from companies or brands they trust.

So how can organizations build the kind of trust that leads to buys – and buy-in. What makes any entity’s offerings more attractive or messages more memorable?

Much of the answer revolves around how and what you communicate. When you think about it, that’s true in any relationship.

Which led me to a piece in Psychology Today. In it, Dr. Lisa Firestone describes ways to build trust and honesty with your partner. It’s not a stretch to see how some of her lessons apply to corporate communications too, in your voice and your content.

Know yourself and your intentions

“To be honest with someone, we must know ourselves. We have to understand what we really think and feel about the world around us,” Dr. Firestone writes. For organizations, that means grasping your mission and conveying what it really means to you and to your audience.

Make your actions match your words

Dr. Firestone says relationships often lose their spark when people replace substance with form. Things become too routine. Her advice? “Spend real quality time, slow down and make contact.” Communicators can translate that into taking the time to understand the audience, and focus on the quality of the engagement. Do your messages reflect what the organization actually delivers?

Be sincere about your reactions

“Not everything we feel in a relationship will be warm and fuzzy,” notes Dr. Firestone. She says being honest and direct can actually lead to more closeness. In communications, transparency and credibility go hand in hand.

Stuart Foxman is a Toronto-based freelance writer, who helps clients’ products, services, ideas and organizations to come alive. Follow me on Twitter @StuartFoxman, connect with me here on LinkedIn, or check me out at foxmancommunications.com. I would love to hear from you. More articles like this coming, with original posts every week about communications, writing, branding, creativity, media, marketing, persuasion, messages, etc., etc.

March 29, 2017

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