Search the website

Brand Loyalty? “Lol, Not Without Trust,” Consumers Say

When brands gain customers’ trust, they install the keystone for loyalty for life. With that, they unlock higher Lifetime Value, longer, stronger customer relationships, and better retention rates, every marketer’s dream. But what are the makings of consumer trust, what causes consumer distrust, and is it even possible to regain it? Our consumer survey reveals 

Posted in

Consumer trust is a crucial component of any successful marketing strategy. It’s more important than any promotion, feature, funny post on social, or brand color. As economic uncertainty persists, consumer financial confidence declines (see our recent Consumer Holiday Spending Survey), and their willingness to spend drops. Naturally, with their limited budgets, consumers prioritize brands they know and trust over new ones they don’t know, or worse, brands they already know and don’t trust. 

One effective way of gaining consumer trust is Customer-Led Marketing. This strategy, which Gartner described as reframing your retention strategy around your customer places the customer at the heart of marketing and focuses on listening to them, understanding their needs and preferences, and allowing them to pave their marketing journey. When marketing journeys start with the customer rather than a product or service, they create trust and set the foundations for a lifetime of brand loyalty and improved bottom lines. 

That’s all well and good, you may say, but where do actual consumers stand on these issues? Well, we’re glad you asked. In December 2022, we surveyed 406 US consumers to better understand how vital trust truly is.  

So, let’s look at some key takeaways from our consumer trust report

Consumers can be irrational. Many are loyal to brands they don’t trust 

Fifty-five percent (55%) of online US shoppers surveyed responded they do not trust retailers with their personal information. But you know consumers, they (and when you think about it, we) are a strange animal sometimes. A total of 64% are loyal to and shop at brands they do not trust.  

The implication is that consumers might not totally trust a brand but continue to shop based on convenience, price, or habit. Amazon comes to mind in that regard; while some of us might not trust the retail giant, it’s so prominent that alternatives might not stand in comparison.  

In addition, this shows that price and convenience may be worth the ‘risk’ for a shopper, i.e., shopping with a brand they distrust. They will not necessarily switch when the brand has delivered on time with the right products – especially for commodities. 

Brand loyalty - Customer opinions on brand trust - Optimove

Consumers think trust between brands and consumers is getting worse 

The results emphasize that brand loyalty is a massive bonus for retailers. Shoppers who have already interacted with brands have developed trust and are more open to recommendations from those retailers. 

Brand loyalty - Marketers measured opinions on customer trustworthiness - Optimove

77% unsubscribed from a retailer because they felt the brand misused their personal information 

What about the ultimate cost? The consumer version of “talk to the hand”, the dreaded unsubscribe. 77% said they unsubscribed from a retailer because they felt the brand misused their personal information. It underscores that trust is directly connected to a consumer’s loyalty to a brand. Once brand trust is lost, an online marketer may never get a second chance. 

Brand loyalty - Customer opinions on unsubscribing due to misuse of personal information - Optimove

More results? Download the full report 

At the core of every marketing action lies brand trust 

Bottom line? Consumers are savvy. They can and mostly will recognize a brand that prioritizes relationships over sales. When they know they are personally valued, they are more likely to trust a brand and develop and maintain loyalty over time.  

With loyalty, customers become engaged with the brand, which drives sales and margins and increases customer lifetime value. Trust is earned when the brand is honest and consistent, provides value, and puts customers first. Trust is at the core of every marketing action; the key to trust is listening to your customers. Trust us. 

Published on
Posted in

Guy Leshno

Guy Leshno, a seasoned PR and Communications professional, with a successful track record in leading PR strategies and projects in emerging startups. With over a decade of experience, his expertise lies in blending creative ideation, analytics, and expert writing capabilities, driving brand awareness, and improving sales.