I had almost gotten my new TV. The offer and price in the store was excellent, so was the service.
The device was ‘insanely good and reliable’ and came with a 24 month warranty. Something went wrong at the checkout. I was informed that it would be really wise to buy an extra 36 month warranty. ‘Because you never know …’
I canceled the purchase, went to a store with a more limited and expensive offering and bought a TV there. It was nicely installed at home and the old one was taken away. Simply without extra warranty, based on trust. That trust was also good in the first store until the extra warranty was imposed.
Trust is an evasive thing. I mean, either you trust something or you do not. One thing is for sure: you have or do not gain trust right away.
It takes a while to build it up. The term breeding is used. Saying, trust must be cultivated lovingly, from a tender seedling to a robust tree. A psychologist friend recently told me that trust mainly has to do with yourself, with your own image of others and of society. In other words: as the innkeeper is, he trusts his guests.
Once we have believed in something, we are actually dependent on things outside our control spectrum working in line with our expectations. In plain language, if you are climbing a ladder and you are on the second step, you will not stop believing that the fifth step can break. You do not know for sure, but you trust that the manufacturer lives up to the alleged authority in its sector. He does not do this by shouting: You never sink because of our ladders! No, he does so by showing that they are super solidly built and infinitely tested. A manufacturer we trust says what it does and does what it says.
Ladders are as old as the world and quite easy to understand even for the layman. It is different with a young sector such as cryptocurrencies. Even more than on the stock market, the fluctuations in (blind?) Confidence become so tangible here. Despite the opacity, persistent ‘believers’ sometimes push the prices of bitcoin and related products to staggering heights, even though they often see their investment plunge a day later. This trade is not based on much more than group trust.
The crypto exchange Bitvavo is now trying to convince more consumers by investing millions in marketing and joining KNVB as a sponsor. See = believe = trust?
Trust is also language; if you do not understand something, how can you trust it? Have you ever read an insurance policy? No rope to tie. Still, everyone drives around insured. You just have to believe what it says. And what about our Kafkaesque tax authorities? Look at all the benefit victims who are literally being hit while Ubers is protected by the same tax authorities. No, we should not have childish confidence in that, but keep an eye on the ball.
No business is as closely associated with trust as marketers. It is an indispensable element when it comes to loyal customers and relationships.
If you are a strong brand, you have confidence that customers will continue to trust you and – of course – that the cash register will continue to ring. At the same time, the unrest is increasing: war + interest rate rise + pandemics = recession? Shit, there’s consumer confidence again. Do you still trust it? I would say: trust yourself first and foremost, you gut feeling, on your inner compass. And keep your eyes on the ball, because after all, you never know …
Peter de Boer is creative director at Viisi Hypotheken and co-founder of the beer brand WillsArk. After studying art history, he chose a career in marketing and design and became a board member of Saatchi & Saatchi. He was a co-founder of Onna-Onna and is associated with EY VODW. Peter is both fascinated by brands that know how to create loyal fans, and the unprecedented realism of the Flemish primitives. Peter wrote this column in personal capacity.