It’s not the destination but the journey, they say.Well, that is, unless you are talking about the process of buying a product; which, let’s be honest, can be less than pleasant at times. And that’s both a major failing for many brands and a fantastic opportunity for those that want to build trust and loyalty.
As a company that tests and certifies products, we know that the lowest bar for entry is a superior product that delivers on a brand promise. While most of our partners understand this, what they often miss is how to build a relationship with the consumer. And this is where the journey to purchase and beyond really begins to matter to sales and brand trust.
Feature-for-Feature: The Wrong Battle
Time and again we see how hard it is to distinguish between competitive brands merely based on the merits of their features. As a company in the business of customer product research, we often find different brands’ products indistinguishable on core characteristics. It’s a wonderful outcome of a highly competitive retail marketplace. But where things start to break down (and get interesting) is in brand affinity and trust.
Box 1, 2, or 3: Which Mattress Would You Choose
A recent test of three ‘mattress in a box’ brands by our organization turned into an eye-opening exercise in trust vs. product quality. We started, as we always do, by identifying ideal testers from our community database. We looked at criteria such as sleep habits, age of existing mattress, and so on.
In this case, we selected 30 families to receive all three brands of mattress. Each family then purchased the mattress online. So far, easy enough. And almost immediately it was clear that each of the mattress in a box brands was high quality. Feature-for-feature, every family was satisfied with each brand. But when asked if they trusted or ‘liked’ the brands equally, the story changed. From website experience to ease-of-delivery and after-sale support, only one brand stood out.
So, what made the difference to our shoppers? Here’s what we found really mattered to brand trust: