Commentary
7:36 am
Wed March 20, 2013

Without Trust, Brands Lose Equity

Credit Riccardo Arata / fotolia.com

We spend our lives in a branded environment. We buy branded products and services. We work for companies that are trying to build their brands. Some of us work in a brand-building role.

At the very least, we spend our money with a keen awareness of brands.

Why? What is it about a brand that influences us so? What makes a brand worth billions? What makes one bar of soap worth twice as much as another?

The brand.

What is a brand, anyway? One word: trust. The definition of a brand is trust.

We trust Coke to taste a certain way every time. Or Pepsi. We trust Tide Detergent to perform the same every time. All our lives we trusted brands.

Then all of a sudden we can’t trust brands.

One of the best known cruise line brands creates a nightmare for thousands. The most popular car brand – every car brand - recalls hundreds-of-thousands of cars for mistakes. The best-known airplane maker’s new airplane catches fire.

Now we pay a lot more attention to warranties. Warranties. Not guarantees. Because there aren’t any guarantees anymore.

Brands teach us to expect less. It’s cheaper to get brand forgiveness for mistakes than to prevent mistakes. We’re losing our trust in brands.

It’s not enough just to add value. If you want to build equity in your brand, be consistent. Be perfect.

To reach Mr. Malmo, hear and read more of his commentaries, or to ask him your own marketing question, go to http://askmalmo.com.