The following is adapted from Come Back to Bed.
Are you running a retail store that simply offers consumers a place to buy stuff? Or have you built a business that has become the preferred place to shop in your community?
One is purely transactional. The other has the potential to capture hearts and minds, drive sales, and deliver higher margins. In order to make people fall in love with your business, you need consumers to know more than what your business sells. They also need to know who you are and why you’re in business.
Making meaningful connections with your customers comes down to one important thing: trust. When you establish trust with your consumers, you gain an advantage over your competitors and therefore, can grow your business to be even stronger. The following tips provide several practical ways to build a brand people trust.
Authenticity is about aligning with who you really are. Don’t sponsor the baseball team just because you think it’s a good way to get your name out there. Sponsor the team because you care about the kids in your town and you want to give them a chance to play sports.
Know your brand. Sometimes this begins with identifying what feels most natural to your business. If riding an elephant around your car lot screaming “Sale!” isn’t your thing, don’t do it. Consumers have become more equipped at knowing when a brand isn’t being authentic. Being dishonest about who you are or trying to be something you’re not puts you at risk of losing the trust of your customers.
Tell your story and promote your business in your voice. Fly your flag and you will find your fans.
Be Intentional About Telling Your Story
Humility is an excellent quality. There seems to be too little of it. But when it comes to sharing who you are and why you exist, blow your horn and blow it loudly!
For some, this isn’t easy. Maybe you’re not a bragger, or you don’t think your story matters. But customers don’t want to know what you sell, they want to know who you are. Telling your story gives you an opportunity to show off what makes you unique. More than that, it’s an opportunity to tell your customers why they can trust you.
Conduct Your Business with Integrity
Trust is the cornerstone of any strong relationship and you can’t have trust if you play games with your pricing, if you mislead people in your advertising, or if you hard-close customers to get the deal.
When you take your car to a mechanic and they fix the problem without charging you because it was a minor issue, do you trust them, tell your friends about them, and go back to them? Do you even consider a different mechanic the next time your car is making “that noise”? Trust is what keeps customers coming back.
If you earn people’s trust, you have a significant advantage over your competitors.
Know Your Purpose
Trust is what will make the difference between your business being a place where people shop once or twice and it being a place they don’t want to live without.
Consumers make buying decisions based on emotion, not logic. If they genuinely like your company, you have a shot at getting them into your store when the time comes to buy what you’re selling. If people love your company, you’re even more likely to get their business.
It all comes down to purpose.
If you are in business to sell stuff and make a profit, you can be successful on some level. If, on the other hand, you are in business to help people solve their problems, then you are playing a different game. The latter will give you an advantage over your competitors because investing in connecting and building trust is the best way to build a brand people know and love.
For more advice on building a brand, you can find Come Back to Bed on Amazon.
Mark Kinsley is President and CEO of Englander, a top-15 US mattress company founded in 1894. Furniture Today called him one of its “20 People to Watch,” and Home Furnishings Business recognized him as one of its “Forty Under 40.” Mark Quinn is the Co-Founder of Spink & Co, Farm-Grown Beds, and the VP of Key Accounts and Marketing for Sherwood Bedding. He’s a top industry blogger at Q’s Views and holds pioneering patents in biometric sleep-space technology. Together, they co-host Dos Marcos, The Galaxy’s Greatest Mattress Podcast (dosmarcos.co), with more than 185 episodes and hundreds of thousands of listens.