It is not a secret that there is increased pressure for companies to be more transparent with their consumers. With a seemingly continuous stream of data breaches or unauthorized data sales coming to the forefront of news sources, the public is becoming more and more wary of companies that were once highly trusted corporations only a couple of years ago.
What this means for marketers: Social networking is one area where expectations of trust are growing, and with industry heavy-weight Facebook’s reputation now shakier than ever, customer expectations for trust have increased by more than 250%. Whether Facebook can regain this trust from its users will be seen in the coming years. Additionally, in a booming online shopping industry, results from a Brand Keys study found that after price, brand trust was the second most cited factor that influenced where consumers shop. Data breaches, (such as experienced by Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s) are the most likely culprits for this uptick. Only time will tell if these brands are able to rebound from the breaking of trust for millions of consumers, especially with customer expectations of trust climbing. This goes to show that unless your brand is as strong as Facebook, Google, or Amazon, brand confidence and trust should be treated as a priority; if it is not, it could significantly lower or even spell the end of your brand loyalty.