Brand trust is essential in branding yourself as an expert or a thought leader or branding your company as a business or an employer.
Brand trust is based on credibility, authority and influence, and this power trio is our topic of conversation in today’s episode of Building A Modern Employer Brand podcast.
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Brand trust – Why do we trust a brand?
Think of the last time you decided to trust a brand.
Was it because of their snazzy logo or a catchy slogan?
It was because they’ve proven themselves credible.
Credibility isn’t just about being known without a context.
It’s about being known for something reliable and credible.
Having the authority to speak about the area of expertise in ways that make people want to listen and believe.
Connecting this with thought leadership or branding yourself as an expert is easier to comprehend.
But you can apply this to employer branding, which the Magnetic Employer Branding Method™️ can help you with. It gives you a plan to turn your organisation into a credible, trusted employer with authority.
The power trio in building brand trust: credibility, authority and influence
Credibility, authority and influence are the power trio in building brand trust. This applies to employer branding, thought leadership and personal branding, as in, branding yourself as the expert in your area of knowledge.
And here is the clue: branding as an expert professional or an expert employer requires a commitment to your area of expertise because it needs to become your hallmark of credibility.
Now, think of your brand. Your employer brand or your brand as an expert professional.
What is your hallmark?
Now, think of your brand. Your employer brand or your brand as an expert professional.
What is your hallmark?Susanna Rantanen
This could be outstanding candidate experiences for an employer that contribute to a hugely trusted and attractive employer reputation. Or this could be your internal commitment to learning and growing your people’s expertise as top-notch professionals.
As an expert professional, this is a specific angle in your area of expertise, also known as a niche. And if you want to build your thought leadership, this combination of your expertise and your personality makes people want to trust in your thoughts.
Let’s dig more deeply into these three areas behind brand trust.
Credibility – The foundation of brand trust
Credibility in branding is a silent agreement between you and your target audience that you’ll consistently deliver what you promise.
If you pick credibility apart, you’ll find the ability and the willingness to deliver what you promise.
Ability ties in with your expertise.
Credibility in branding is a silent agreement between you and your target audience that you’ll consistently deliver what you promise.Susanna Rantanen
You know what you are talking about, and you stand behind it. If your audience challenges your knowledge, you won’t budge because your expertise is solid. And that strengthens your credibility.
Willingness connects with credibility through trustworthiness. You are willing to deliver your brand promises and make it happen even when it doesn’t feel comfortable.
EVPs (employee value propositions) make a great example for breaking brand trust
One of the reasons I don’t recommend putting that much emphasis on creating employer value propositions is the organisation’s ability to deliver on those promises.
The larger the organization, the less likely they are to deliver their value proposition. Simply because when organizations grow, they start making compromises in hiring and promoting their people. This leads to the inability to commit to their promises. Especially employer value propositions, which are promises.
This, then, leads to EVPs that are highly general and avoid promising anything valuable to employees. Why bother coming up with an EVP when, in the end, it’s worth zero to the organisation and its employees?
Your target audience expects to be able to consistently count on your brand to deliver their promise and the same experience each time they come in contact with that brand.
And that consistency, my tribe, is key to successful branding.
Let me repeat.
Your audience must consistently receive your brand promise, regardless of time or place.
Every time they come in contact with your brand – employer brand, your expertise brand, or your thought leadership brand, they experience what they have heard other people talking about you and what they experienced in the past with your brand.
This is the only way to achieve brand trust and success with branding.
And that’s what makes employer branding success difficult but not impossible.
You just need a solid and proven system to help you build that unique brand position like our Magnetic Employer Brand Method™️.
Influence – The power shaping brand perceptions for brand trust
Influence is your superpower for shaping your target audience’s perceptions of you. And again, this applies to employer branding, thought leadership and branding your expertise.
Building influence gives your brand the ability to sway opinions and shape decisions.
Learning to influence is learning to persuade. And persuasion is a fundamental life skill that most people unfortunately never take the time to learn.
Persuasion is a fundamental life skill that most people unfortunately never take the time to learn. It is not about how many people follow you on social media or your post’s reach. It’s about impact. How you impact others to move their beliefs, opinions and brand loyalties in new directions.Susanna Rantanen
It is not about how many people follow you on social media or your post’s reach. It’s about impact. How you impact others to move their beliefs, opinions and brand loyalties in new directions.
There is a science behind this, the psychology of persuasion, with almost 100 years of research to back it up. You’ll remember it from the science of getting people to say yes to you.
When you take time to learn how to influence others, persuade others, and apply this nearly 100-year-old science, you will be more successful in your life and career simply because this science will help to get people to say yes to you as an employer or a recruiter or when you sell something.
The power of a ripple effect when creating influence leading to brand trust
How can you create a ripple effect as an employer brand, a thought leader, or an expert?
If you are unfamiliar with the phrase “ripple effect”, this is the effect of a situation where one thing causes a series of other things to happen.
Your small action as a thought leader, employer, nearest manager, talent acquisition professional or career coach completely changed someone’s future life.
This was a very innocent and small action from your side, but it created a ripple effect through the impact when you empowered a person to change something in their ways, and then they impacted many other people as a result.
Let me give you an example. During recruitment, a simple, nice gesture received by a declined job seeker changed their view on recruiting. One day, they became a hiring manager and started to follow your example, making the same gesture and creating the same impact on many other people.
These ripple effects are created unconsciously because you have it in you. Or, you can decide that from now on, you will deliver a good deed, something of value for the recipient, in a specific situation. And you repeat that forever.
Influencing people builds brand trust and when it takes on as a ripple effect, the power is many times fold.
Authority – Earning respect in your domain for brand trust
The third ingredient in this power trio is authority, that lets you earn respect in your domain. And you also need this for brand trust.
Let’s imagine your brand as a pyramid. The top of your brand pyramid is authority, and this is your crown jewel. The reason why this is at the top and literally a crown jewel is because it’s not given; it is earned.
You have to work to deserve it, to earn it.
You earn this crown jewel of authority when your brand transcends beyond being an option, just one option, to becoming The Only One Option.
In the language of employer branding, you are no longer just an attractive employer. Not even a Top 10 employer. You are the one at the very top of mind of your target audience.
You have become the number one choice for your target audience, internal and external. They don’t have any better options, any other options they rather choose. They want you as an employer or someone to work with and are determined to make it happen.
Authority means that when the industry looks for guidance, they look at you.
Authority means that when the industry looks for guidance, they look at you.Susanna Rantanen
As an employer or a recruiter, they don’t just hire people. They set standards for hiring people or being the number one choice in their industry.
They don’t just sell services or products. They pave the way to what those services and products need to be.
To build authority, you need to not just know your stuff—you need to lead the conversation about your stuff.
And remember, with authority comes the responsibility to innovate and inspire.
Why you need credibility, authority and influence to build brand trust
Let’s end this week’s episode on this conclusive note. Credibility, influence and authority are like the roots, trunk, and branches of a mighty oak in the forest of branding.
Each supports the other and weathers the storms of market changes, trends and challenging times together.
Think about your employer brand or your expert-brand.
Reflect on your brand’s journey through this triad.
Where do you stand as a brand?
What are your roots in keeping your brand grounded through life?
And more importantly, where will your brand grow from here?