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The Surprising Secret to Building Brand Trust

Posted by Emily Hegland on May 14, 2021

Trust. It’s hard to build… but easy to lose.  

Especially when it comes to brands.   

Brand trust is key to boosting customer engagement. People are more likely to recommend a trusted brand to family members and friends, pay more for a trusted brand’s product or service, and even share personal data with a brand they trust. Take a look at this chart to see exactly how it breaks down...


But what exactly makes a brand inherently trustworthy?  

Today’s customers rely on a variety of conscious and subconscious cues from a brand before they purchase. Marketing can leave many consumers on the defensive, wondering “What’s the catch?” when they see your ad. 

A few things might come to mind: reliable customer reviews, word-of-mouth advertising, success stories, exceptional customer experience… the list goes on. And it’s true. These details appeal to a customer’s sense of logic. They can see evidence and make an educated decision. To win their trust, you need proof and familiarity.  

But there’s something else that gives customers a feeling of trust. Something more subtle, maybe even subliminal: High-quality creative. It’s the special sauce. The je ne sais quoi. The subconscious detail that makes a major difference. 

Investing in high-quality advertising signals to consumers that your brand is successful and trustworthy. It gives your brand inherent credibility. And ultimately, it’s one of the first things a customer will see and react to. The rest (reviews, customer experience, etc.) is supporting evidence. It’s the proof that backs up bold, eye-catching, well-crafted creative. 

According to a 2021 survey by Celtra, more than 85% of adults are more likely to trust a brand with high-quality, well-designed ads. Furthermore, 52% of adults say poor creative has deterred them from purchasing a product they would have otherwise considered.  

So, the damage of bad creative is two-fold. You’re not only turning off fresh prospects who aren’t yet aware of your brand, but you can also prevent interested prospects from completing a purchase.  

In a sense, bad creative is a red flag… something that alerts a prospect to the potential unreliability of your brand. This is especially true when it comes to marketing on the Internet, where customers are especially skeptical of clickbait and scams. You want to appear polished and professional to put leery prospects at ease. 

And people expect high-quality creative across their customer journey. 56% of customers who have clicked on a well-designed online ad say they were turned off by a poor-quality website that followed. Mismatched creative is another red flag… and it’s a surefire way to lose a potential sale. 

So, not only is high-quality creative essential at the top of the marketing funnel, but it is essential for conversion as well, and overall customer experience. What good is a high-quality ad if they are turned off by the checkout experience? Or, what good is a great website if they are turned away by the ad that would have brought them there? High quality is essential at every stage of the experience. That’s why it’s so important to invest in a sleek, cohesive multi-channel experience.

It's easier said than done. Prospects may not know WHY an ad seems “high quality,” but they can see when something feels off. Here are a few things to keep in mind that can take your marketing from iffy to trustworthy: 

Format: Certain formats feel more reliable to prospects than others. For example, people feel more comfortable receiving and making purchasing decisions from direct mail compared to social media ads. See the breakdown here: 


Design: This is where a professional touch makes all the difference. Even if they’re not consciously looking for it, design errors can set off an alarm in someone’s head. Uneven spacing, clunky layouts, awkward kerning, lack of a hierarchy of design… it all makes an ad “feel off.” 

Proofreading: Nothing makes an ad feel more untrustworthy than an obviously missed proofreading error. It looks amateur. That’s why working with a full-service agency is important.  

From top-level strategy to proven design techniques, multi-channel cohesion to pristine copy, a professional touch makes all the difference in building consumer trust. Here’s an example of high-quality creative that builds consumer trust and gets results: 

J&C is made up of experts in the art and science of customer engagement. If you need help building brand trust, contact J&C today. 


Topics: Direct Marketing, Creative

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