Edelman Trust Barometer 2016: Purpose-Driven Brands Engender More Trust

Given the Trust Barometer’s findings that the general public is (re)turning to the business sector to solve “big problems” it might not be surprising to discover that having the right focus matters for both a business and its leaders, for action impacts trust. 45 percent attribute a business’ contribution to the greater good as the reason that their trust in business has grown. Conversely, of those whose trust in business decreased, half cited a business’ failure to contribute to the greater good as the main driver.

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I think there is a strong impetus for brands and organisations today to tap deeper into their brand purpose and corporate narrative – and communicate this through their leaders and employees. The Barometer’s findings reinforce this: The public is responding positively to CEOs trying to realize the dual mandate of profit and societal benefit, as CEO trust has risen substantially in the past five years to 48 percent.

At the same time, organisations and leaders need the help of their employees, whose trust levels (52 percent) are on the rise. Respondents are more likely to trust an employee compared to a CEO for information on treatment of employees (48 percent versus 19 percent) and information on business practices and crises (30 percent versus 27 percent).

A strong brand purpose and corporate narrative is also valuable for internal engagement and morale. When business—and more specifically when the CEO—is involved in societal issues, employee advocacy and engagement increases. When a CEO is engaged in addressing societal issues, an employee’s motivation to perform escalates by 22 points. Similarly, an employee’s willingness to stay working for the company climbs by 22 points, and inclination to recommend the company as an employer grows by 25 points.

According to Kathryn Beiser, global practice chair of Edelman’s Corporate practice, “Business can be a big part of the solution because it is apolitical, fast, and tracks its progress. Now is the time to lead from the front with the support of their employees and passionate customers. No longer can business leaders focus on short-term goals. The new model CEOs are taking action by addressing the issues of our time, and taking a personal interest in the success of society. Stakeholders expect business to have a solid and steady focus on financial returns, but also on actions around key issues such as education, healthcare and the environment.”

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Edelman Trust Barometer 2016: Changing Rules Of Engagement To Build Trust

Given today’s increasingly fragmented media landscape, the rules of engagement have changed. Engagement that builds trust and reaches beyond the informed public must take into account the full universe of today’s content creators—not simply the traditional media.

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A search engine’s findings are now the most trusted source of general news and information. Search engines are more trusted than traditional media by a measure of five percentage points—a gap that widens to eight points for Millennials. One’s “friends and family” are more trusted as content creators than journalists by more than 30 percentage points.

At the same time, building trust relies on a number of different forms of engagement. In fact, while blogs, social media and traditional media interviews are all seen as fundamental to building trust in CEOs, communication via industry conferences is viewed with even more importance.

As mentioned previously, businesses need to also rally employees to become their brand advocates. Employees, whose trust levels (52 percent) are on the rise. Respondents are more likely to trust an employee compared to a CEO for information on treatment of employees (48 percent versus 19 percent) and information on business practices and crises (30 percent versus 27 percent).

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Interbrand’s Best Global Brands 2013

Interbrand hast just released their Best Global Brands 2013 survey results and, after 13 years, there is a new king of the hill: Apple.

The study, which looks into the value of corporate brands, noted that Apple is the first company to push Coca-Cola aside – which had been the top most valuable brand every year since the study first began in 2000. Interbrand assessed Apple at $98.3 billion while second place winner, Google came in with a brand value of $93.3 billion, well ahead of Coca-Cola’s $79.2 billion value.

I think it’s really interesting to note that 5 out of the top 10 brands are technology-related brands, followed by beverages (1), business services (1), diversified (1), restaurants (1), automotive (1). I believe it’s truly indicative of the increasing recognition of technology in global business and consumer consciousness.

Jez Frampton, Interbrand’s Global Chief Executive Officer stated, “Every so often, a company changes our lives—not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Apple now ranks #1.”

He continued, “Tim Cook has assembled a solid leadership team and has kept Steve Jobs’ vision intact – a vision that has allowed Apple to deliver on its promise of innovation time and time again.”

Interbrand bases its assessment on a combination of the company’s financial performance, its role influencing consumer choices, and how well the brand lets a company charge premium prices and deliver profits.

Click here for the full report in PDF.

The Ultimate Guide To Business Cards – Print & Design (Infographic)

Here’s a really cool infographic by Businesscards.com developed with the main intention to address the common disconnects in branding projects between less technical small business owners and the graphic designers that they hire.

This really helpful guide is meant to walk business owners through the points in the creative process where they are likely to struggle the most.

Click here for the original link to the infographic.

Living Our Brand: Fulfilling The Promise Our Stakeholders Perceive We Make

I was looking through some of my older presentations before and had come across one slide that said,

“Living Our Brand: Fulfilling The Promise Our Stakeholders Perceive We Make” – Leigh Wong

Allow me to unpack that a little for you:

  1. It is not enough to have a great brand strategy – one must live it out too!
  2. Living out our brand happens in two parts: first, it’s about fulfilling a promise to our stakeholders. I know there are many, many, many ways of understanding what a brand ultimately is – but suffice to say, one of the better ways of understanding what a brand is, is that it is a promise made between our stakeholders and our brand. So, living our brand means keeping and fulfilling that every promise.
  3. Second, living out our brand must also be understood in the context of our audience/stakeholder/customer/end-user. The promise we are making is not necessarily the one that we think we are making, rather it is the promise that our stakeholders perceive we are making!

So, when you want to think about living out your brand, you’ll really need to think about it in at least these terms described here.