Mind the gap: when people, brand and business are disconnected

| July 16, 2021

People’s trust in brands is at an all-time low, with 71 per cent having little faith that brands deliver on their promise.  This demonstrates a lack of alignment between what is being communicated and the actual experience being delivered by the business. Leaders and employees are not aligned to your brand or the capabilities of your business.

Yet trust in business has increased
On the other hand, Edelman’s Trust Barometer indicates that people’s trust in business, in particular the business that employs them, has increased.

Employer brands have won trust through their pro-activity over the last year, including regular and transparent communications, employee wellbeing, health and safety, training and development, and offering a diverse representative workforce.

Business gains trust through sustainable business practices, long-term thinking vs short-term profits and driving economic prosperity. Business leaders, CEOs, are expected to be accountable to the public, lead the change and address societal problems.

People expect brands to act in line with business
Beyond providing utility, people expect this bigger picture thinking and action from brands too.

Consumers want to buy from brands that act for the good of society and the planet, have a reputation for purpose as well as profit, with a purpose and values aligned to theirs.

Employees want to work for responsible businesses that treat them, customers and the community right.

Investors – both institutional and mums and dads – seek responsible brands and businesses making a positive social and environment impact.

Way back in 2014, research by Gallup revealed that “when consumers are aligned with a brand, they give it twice as much share of wallet as those who are not aligned with that same brand. It can be difficult for consumers to fully trust in a brand and align themselves with it, but when they do, they reward it generously.”

It is evident there is a lack of alignment between business, brand and employer brand strategies, the company’s purpose and values and those of customers, employees and key stakeholders.

Environmental pressures are raising expectations and complexity

We’re faced with an increasingly dispersed and specialised workforce, fragmented media and distribution, increased competition from lower barriers to entry, and an urgency to address foundational problems such as healthcare and education, poverty, equity and discrimination, climate change, fake news and protecting people’s individual freedoms.

This is raising expectations of customers, employees and investors and increasing complexity for business. It is little wonder the challenges that were raised seven years ago are still here and only getting worse.

Alignment is key to building brand trust, sustainable brand value and business results

Your business needs:

  • A vision, purpose and values to align employees, customers and all stakeholders
  • Business, brand and employer brands and value propositions that are multi-dimensional and interconnected whilst projecting a united image to the world
  • A unique, compelling and meaningful brand promise with which employees are engaged and aligned, so they consistently deliver against the promise; aligned with an employer brand that attracts, retains and engages the right employees to deliver your business and brand strategies
  • A cohesive identity – visual, voice, behaviour, sensory – across corporate, customer and employer brands to unite your business, so it is easily found and recognised in the crowd.
  • Your business position on sustainability, its multi-dimensions, their relevance to audiences and how they tangibly pull through to your customer, corporate and employer brands
  • An holistic marketing strategy – product, place, price, promotion, people, process and service – that delivers business objectives