Trust is the Ultimate Currency

 I listen to marketing blogs while I walk on the weekends. It is a source of ideas, information and insights. Mark W. Schafer’s podcast called The Marketing Companion has been a frequent friend during on my strolls.  Mark writes the popular blog GROW and has written several wonderful books I have reviewed here like Tao of Twitter and Return on Influence.

Mark said, "Trust is the Ultimate Currency". 

He was talking about it in the context of what would happen if he started to cheapen his blogs and podcasts by crassly turning them into infomercials.  He talked about how some companies are really starting to understand that without trust, you just can’t achieve value, effectiveness and lasting business value. He used IBM as an example of folks who are really getting it. And he disclosed he has done work for them over the last few years.

Drying Out 
I had to replace a Sear’s Kenmore Drier that died on us this week. (RIP Kenmore, Sears and my drier).  When I got the news from the repairman, my first thought was who do I trust?  I have ZERO relationship with Sears anymore. Not only don’t I trust them but I have no idea what they do anymore. I can’t recall any message, marketing or communications that spoke to me. It has been more than a decade since I went into their store. (At that time, I bought a drier).

I do trust Best Buy.  I have purchased from them my Dyson vacuum cleaner, my new HP Photosmart wireless printer and my new LG flat screen 42 inch TV. I like that I could quickly, on my phone find the pricing range so I could quickly decide if I want to spend $425 to fix the old unit. (No!).  I could see the product offerings on my phone. I could learn that they could deliver FREE in 3 days and I could see brands I trusted.

At lunchtime I drove over to Best Buy and met with their sales person. Michael walked me through my choices and answered all my questions.  He checked inventory and if I had discount credits from their loyalty program to offset the cost.  Within 30 minutes I had all the information I needed and could email the two choices to my wife for a quick conference. We agreed and I am the proud owner of an LG Drier.

Why LG?

It fit in my price range. It had the widest opening format we preferred. It had comparable features to what we had plus a significant energy score improvement.  

But it didn't occur to me until later that I really trust LG. My LG TV works really well, set up easily and fulfilled their brand promise. I use an LG product everyday for enjoyment, entertainment and relaxation. It's design fit my aesthetic. It conveniently puts the electronics and information panel (formerly dials) right in front instead of far back on a rear panel. This feature made it even easier to use then the old one. Overall, I liked the design and how they thought about the consumer uses a drier.

So I trusted LG and I trusted Best Buy.  I bought my new drier with trust as my currency.

How are you building trust with current and prospective customers in your business? Are you keeping your promise to them?  Is your product easy to use and designed to fit the consumer's needs? 


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