From The Editor | October 14, 2015

Mind The Gap - The Role That TRUST Plays In Your Growth Potential And How To Capitalize On It


By Travis Kennedy

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it."

-Warren Buffett

We live in a world that is constantly communicating.  Much of this so-called communication is unfortunately nothing more than companies and people promoting their own greatness. In reality, they are not communicating at all.

Your success in marketing your company’s value to the water and wastewater industry relates directly to your ability to build trust with the utility managers, operators and engineers you target. You can’t gain trust by simply talking about yourself and detracting from others (your competition).  Trust is built over time, through the creation and delivery of good quality content that aligns your brand with helpful information.

Reputation is the key to any business and is the life blood of customer loyalty.  Apple Inc. is a shining example of this.  At one point Fast Company asked a target group of consumers, “Which company are you more likely to cut some slack for:  Apple or Microsoft?”  Apple was the big winner.  Why? Because Apple knows how to communicate with its audience.  Very little of Apple’s messaging speaks to specific features or benefits of the company’s products.  Instead, Apple concentrates on helping its potential buyers make GOOD buying decisions.  It’s at these critical decision points in the buying process that consumers feel more comfortable working with and buying from Apple. A large part of this comfort or trust is due to Apple walking with them throughout the buying process instead of talking at them.

When delivered in the correct manner, each message or piece of content makes deposits into what can be called your companies “Brand Trust Piggy Bank”.  The bigger the balance in the bank, the better chance your company has to not only grow but also navigate crisis situations that require withdrawals from that emotional bank account.  Almost every company will at one point have a situation where the balance of trust needs to be high in order to survive. 

Remember the Domino’s Pizza scandal when a worker was filmed urinating in the kitchen sink?  I guarantee that the buying public didn’t care if their pizza tasted good or bad.  I guarantee that the buying public didn’t care if Domino’s Pizza sampled better than Pizza Hut in taste tests.  The only thing that mattered was reputation and trust.  Did Domino’s survive?  Indeed it did and certainly learned a lesson in the importance of trust and reputation.