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Building the trust factor

by Pratichi Avinash & Priyanka Sinha

In order to expand business and build brand loyalty, it is vital to develop the trust factor. Trust is one of the greatest motivators, influencing customers to commit to the brand, be loyal, refer the company to others, and provide positive feedback. Big brands like Tata, Apple, Starbucks, and others are established on the trust factor.

Commitment to quality customer service and customer satisfaction is of utmost importance. It is an immediate platform where both parties can interact. The consideration to achieve excellent customer service demonstrates that the company cares about their customers and can be trusted, in the face of any issues that arise. It is also essential to have a transparent and honest relationship between the customer and the company. Providing information about the company’s journey, the peaks and valleys, and the team behind the brand can help the company build trust among its customers.

Using the right channels at the right time for visibility can be tricky, but plays a major role. If the brand is visible to the audience at regular intervals on expected channels, it can be beneficial to build trust, but if information about the brand is seen more than it should, it can annoy the audience. Moreover, if brand visibility misses out at an expected time, trust can be reduced and the customer is likely to shift to another company.

The old ways of business development (synergising with a strategy do not apply anymore. Strategy is not about plans or best practices or total quality management (TQM), it’s about the next practice. As Michel Porter observes, strategy should be about doing different things to execute the same thing differently. For example, different airlines have implemented unique ways of embarking and disembarking, saving time, and giving them a competitive advantage.

The goal in strategy development is the same whether it is the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), blue ocean, or the portal model – the content is the king but context is the kingdom. The greatest danger to strategy development is to work with past strategies which might not work again, or work with diminishing returns.

Today marketers need to think about business, brand, channel, communication, and reputation strategy. The trouble with the marketing arises if marketers believe their only role is to develop advertisements. Today, marketing is more sophisticated than ever. It is not about brand vs. brand, it is eco system vs. ecosystem. During the Covid pandemic, the most- searched category online was beauty and education, so for example, in beauty, marketing should include educating consumers on how to buy the right products for their skin type, while also selling them solutions and experiences. Today’s marketing is not just about selling the product but selling the solution.

In 2023, assuming the Indian GDP grows at around 6 to 7 percent, the market needs to do the following:

  1. Disaggregate growth to determine specifically where it is happening and why it is happening. There should be a pocket of high growth and a pocket of decline.

  2. Review the business model and determine which is going to grow and give more returns.

  3. Determine what would be the right share of growth, or share of share in a slow-growing market that is not conducive to growth. (Incur expenses as an eyeball-to-eyeball in getting a market share.)

Every brand should have a realistic but optimistic plan. All costs must be based on conservatism; however, the incentive for people must be on the realistic side. This would essentially give productivity to every penny spent.

The future of business development and product integration should be on an open network for digital commerce (ONDC) platform, with the buyer and the seller both registering on the platform. This may be the beginning of revolutionising Indian e-commerce. Marketers need to rethink the issue of transport and delivery costs as that might come under pressure. The real price of certain categories might drop in the first 9–12 months, and we need to fasten our belts as none of us knows how the market is going to turn out.

Photo: Mediteraneo -

23 August 2023

R.N. MARWAH & CO. LLP, Chartered Accountants