Knowledge Bank Blog, Shopper Communication

Who Do You Trust?

Let’s start with a short quiz…

Below is a list of different types of people. Would you generally trust them to tell the truth or not?

1. Doctors

2. Television news readers

3. The ordinary person on the street

4. Politicians

So, how did your responses compare to the British public, surveyed for the Ipsos 2022 Veracity Index?

85% say they generally trust doctors to tell the truth. Though this means 15% of people go to the doctor and think, “nah, don’t believe you, I’ll google it.”

58% say they generally trust news readers to tell the truth. The other 42% must watch Huw Edwards whilst muttering “bull****!” at the television.

55% say they generally trust the ordinary person on the street to tell the truth. Presumably the other 45% ask someone for directions then go the other way.

Only 12% say they generally trust politicians to tell the truth. An all time low. Admittedly, the survey was done in October just after the lunatics took over the asylum.

No wonder many people think we’re experiencing a crisis of trust.

Why are we talking about this? Trust is important. It has always been important. But it is particularly important right now.

We’re living in a time of uncertainty. Where the cost of living is high. Where every decision matters. Where every bad decision costs a shopper money. Where every good decision saves them money.

Most of the decisions shoppers make come down to one thing. Trust.

Product A is cheaper, but can I trust it to deliver? Product B is new, should I trust it? Product C is more expensive, but I know I can trust it.

The more trust shoppers have in a product, the more likely they are to choose it.

So, how can you signal trust to shoppers?

You could do it through ADVOCACY. By using recommendations from independent, trusted sources. For instance, Colgate saying they are “#1 Dentist Recommended.” Pampers saying, “the only newborn nappy approved by the British Skin Foundation.”

You could use awards. Aldi have been the masters of this in recent years. As soon as one of their products wins an award, they tell shoppers about it. If Good Housekeeping have given a product an award, it must be good right…?

You could do it through SOCIAL PROOF. By telling shoppers what other shoppers are doing. For instance, Nivea telling shoppers they are the “UK’s No 1 Men’s brand.” Bestsellers are bestsellers because they are bestsellers.

You could tell shoppers what other shoppers think. For instance, Fairy Detergent “Voted #1 brand for sensitive skin.” Or Nescafe Azera using a quote from an Asda.com shopper at shelf “Lovely tasting coffee. Worth every penny.” What shoppers say about your product is often more powerful than anything you can say.

You could do it through HERITAGE. By telling shoppers how long you have been doing what you do. For instance, Smirnoff saying “Infamous since 1864.” Heinz even used heritage to launch a new product. Using a “150 years late. 150 years good.” message to launch their pasta sauce range.

Smirnoff signal they are experts in Vodka. Heinz signal they are experts in tomatoes (& hence pasta sauce). If you’ve been doing something for a long time you must know what you are doing, right…?

You could do it through BODY LANGUAGE. By designing assets that reinforce your proposition. For instance, Pipers Crisps’ wooden display units reinforce their “made by farmers” message. You could do it through packaging. The vibrancy of Birds Eye Peas packaging reinforces freshness. You could do it through shelf ready & outer packaging. Peroni’s outer packaging reinforces their “Italian Style” positioning.

You could do it through CONSISTENCY. By staying on message. Over time. For instance, Actimel consistently talk about “immunity support.” Launch a kid’s version and it’s “immune support for your kids.” Launch a dairy-free version and it’s “immune support, now 100% dairy free.”

Fever Tree do this with their “if ¾ of your drink is the mixer, mix with the best” message. You don’t completely reframe the role of tonic by saying something once. You do it by saying it again and again and again.

Shoppers are constantly scanning for signals. Signals that indicate trust.

What shoppers trust is what they buy.

Can they trust your brand?

Feel free to forward. Have a great weekend. Speak to you in fortnight.