In this complex news landscape, brands have an opportunity to maintain and even earn more trust with their customers.
This is important as consumers demand brands take more of a role, not just in a purpose-driven way, but also in an evolved way that includes supporting the consumers themselves. Similarly, they expect the platforms where they get their news to proactively ensure that content shared there is true.
Moving forward, there are four things that brands can do to earn consumer trust with the content they provide or associate with:
Avoid associating with fake news: In an effort to reach larger audiences, brands often connect themselves with the most popular stories. Brands should therefore be more discriminating and not merely ban specific keywords, but carefully select the news outlets where they advertise.
Provide content to educate and inform the public: An Ipsos survey found that customers expect tech platforms and sectors like financial services and healthcare to help educate them on using their services. Moreover, there was broad feeling that brands should help support their customers when they need help. For example, Google offers free training, tools, and resources such as Grow with Google, which helps business owners rebound from the pandemic.
Inform and help tackle social issues: When appropriate, brands can speak out about social issues, and focus on contributing to change rather than make vague, washed-out statements.
Tell the brand story in a trusted way: Consumers show high levels of trust for regulated channels like packaging, but also trust company websites. Use those channels (and of course advertising, which is still trusted by many) to shape your narrative.
So how do brands actually do all of that? To help ensure accurate and reliable information to inform, educate and act on economic and social issues, brands should retain journalists, scientists and educators in addition to marketers and advertising agencies to help guide them through.