We all know trust is important, but for brands, it's more than just a buzzword. Every business concocts a mission statement (and sometimes even related advertising) about what it stands for and why it's worthy of consumers’ trust. However, you don't have to look further than the social media #fail of British Airways vs. @HSVSN or the disastrous #MyNYPD hashtag to see how someone's expectations of how consumers do or should view them don't always match up to reality. (Anyone who's tried out online dating can probably relate.)
Tapan Bhat, Lithium's Chief Product Officer, devoted his talk at LiNC '14 to trust and reputation. "You can shout from the rooftops about what your brand stands for, but experience is negotiated...It's not what you say, it's what people think the brand is." Understanding both the consumer's individual needs and the nature of your brand have never been more critical, with 81% of people now researching their biggest purchases online.” A person is more than a record in a CRM system," says Tapan. "Do you know what I like, and why I buy something?"
Lithium's product team is already dedicated to helping businesses create authentic experiences around their brands, and with the acquisition of Klout, we're creating the definitive profiles of people, products, and brands, with a network of shared value in which everyone feels like they've won. We will help capture consumers' actions on their digital touchpoints, surface content so consumers can better evaluate products for purchase, and help communicate consumer price sensitivity to the brands whose products they’re considering buying.
On the brand side, all of this information will become fodder for insights into customer behavior, including the awarding of Klout Perks like discounts that drive sales or rewards for customer loyalty. Consumers' profiles take into account the word of mouth they can help generate.
There are many more new offerings on the way, from campaign-based advocacy hubs that move consumers from topical interests to brand affinity, to improved mobile functionality for Lithium Social Web and Lithium Community. But it all comes back to one key point: trust. Everyone wins when consumers can trust brands to view them as individuals and treat them accordingly, and brands can trust consumers to become genuine, passionate social advocates.
Stay tuned for more insights from LiNC '14, and follow @lithiumtech and #linc14 for up-to-the-minute updates on the brands and personalities that are changing the face of social.
If you are a customer, partner or attended the event, you can watch the recording of this session on demand.
Photography: Arnaud Lerondeau ( @ArnaudL )
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