Establishing credibility leads to trust, and trust inspires action.
Many high-growth companies often prioritize their product and technology above all else, sometimes forgetting about the importance of brand credibility. However, a strong and credible brand is crucial for attracting and retaining customers.
Even if a company’s product is exceptional, if the brand is not seen as credible, it will not be considered by potential customers. This is why forward-thinking companies make smart investments to protect and enhance their brand credibility – the stakes are high, and visitors to a website only take 50 milliseconds to decide whether to stay or leave.
When visitors to a website make the decision to stay or leave, they do so incredibly quickly – in fact, it takes just 50 milliseconds, or about ⅓ of the blink of an eye.
The perception of credibility displayed on the site plays a significant role in this rapid decision-making process.
It is not just purchase decisions that are influenced by credibility – consumer research has shown that an increase in confidence can lead to a 50% increase in purchasing behavior across various industries, including clothing and technology. This demonstrates the importance of ensuring that your brand is seen as credible in order to drive action and succeed in today’s fast-paced digital world.
In summary, credibility plays a crucial role in shaping perception and driving revenue. Unfortunately, many tech companies fail to prioritize brand credibility, which can ultimately hinder their success.
The Lack of Brand Credibility
Credibility is valuable because it cannot be easily fabricated.
When a brand is credible, it instills trust in potential customers and conveys that the company is dependable, consistent, and a safe choice. Customers come to expect a certain level of quality and service from a credible brand, knowing that their needs will be met. A credible brand also demonstrates a deep understanding of customer pain points and the ability to effectively address them. By conveying these qualities, a credible brand can inspire confidence and drive customer action.
Startups and growing tech companies that aim to sell to enterprise accounts must be particularly mindful of their brand reputation, as it will be closely scrutinized. This is understandable, given that 90% of technology companies ultimately fail. A Fortune 500 customer considering a 3-year contract needs to be confident that the company will be around for the long term and that there will not be sudden, unexpected changes in the near future. A credible brand helps to assure customers of the company’s stability and reliability.
If your sales team regularly receives questions like the following, it may indicate a credibility issue:
- Have you collaborated with any notable companies in the past?
- Do you have relevant experience in my industry?
- When was your last round of funding?
- How much funding have you received to date?
This gap in credibility, known as the Credibility Gap, is the challenge that marketers must address.
As a marketing leader, it is your responsibility to identify how and when customers evaluate your brand’s credibility and take proactive, intentional steps to build trust through your marketing efforts. This requires careful strategy and consideration of the various elements of your marketing mix.
How can you determine if you are effectively building credibility and trust?
Your website’s story, design, and technology all play a role in conveying the credibility of your brand. It is often the first point of contact for prospective customers, or the place they go to find more information after learning about your products.
Therefore, it is important to understand how humans and customers perceive credibility before identifying potential issues with your brand’s credibility.
Understanding Digital Credibility: A Framework
To understand the key elements of trust, let’s examine the strategies and approaches that can be used to build trust and address the Credibility Gap.
According to a groundbreaking study from Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab, credibility in the digital realm is composed of four key components.
- Presumed credibility: This refers to credibility that is assumed based on factors such as industry, product category, and brand strategy.
- Reputed credibility: This type of credibility is derived from social proof, such as reviews and testimonials, as well as the company’s presence on social media.
- Surface credibility: The design, user experience, messaging, and content of a website contribute to its surface credibility.
- Experienced credibility: This is credibility that is earned through the quality of the product or service offered.
By examining each aspect of brand credibility, we can gain insight into how it plays a role in the buyer’s journey and identify the strategies and channels that are associated with it.
Strategizing to Establish Trust through your Website
Many companies face some of these challenges with their website.
These issues are not isolated incidents and cannot be easily resolved with a quick fix such as adding a logo bar to the website. Rather, they stem from a flawed process for designing and developing websites that does not prioritize credibility at a strategic level.
At Lauxdesign, we approach website design and development with a focus on strategy. As part of this strategy, we prioritize building brand credibility by integrating it into every aspect of the process, from storytelling to design to technology.
Our process includes four key steps that help us ensure that building credibility and reinforcing the brand narrative are central to our website strategy.
- Identify areas for improvement: Maintaining consistency is crucial for establishing credibility. Inconsistent messaging and positioning can cause confusion and undermine trust.
In our discovery process, we thoroughly assess your desired positioning and the discrepancies between your marketing strategy and how potential customers perceive your brand. This enables us to identify areas of your strategy that need improvement and refine our messaging hierarchy to address these gaps. By doing so, we can help align your branding with the perception you want to create in the minds of your customers.
- Refine the messaging strategy: Once we have identified areas for improvement, we can create a plan to address any inconsistencies.
Our unified communication and messaging strategy is based on the brand strategy and is tailored to meet the needs of your target audience.
This helps to close any gaps and ensures that all of our key messages are aligned with the overall brand and business strategy.
- Detailing the user experience on each page: Before we begin wireframing and UX design, we want to apply the messaging strategy we developed to the specific pages on the website.
We start with a single page, such as the homepage, and use our messaging hierarchy to plan the content structure and create a user journey. This helps us ensure that the content on each page aligns with the overall messaging strategy.
- Outline the overall user experience on the website: To wrap up the process, we create a Journey Deck. This tool expands our messaging strategy to cover the entire customer journey and all relevant pages on your website, creating a blueprint for how your target audience will navigate the site and how we can strengthen credibility.
By following this framework, we can identify opportunities to bridge the credibility gap through strategies such as social proof, case studies, and content that positions your brand as a thought leader.
Enhancing brand credibility on your website
For over a decade, we have been refining our approach to website design and development. We have examined traditional methods and created a more effective way to achieve business goals.
Having a well-designed website is essential, but not all websites are created equal.
A strategic website delivers results:
- 40% increase in revenue
- 37% drop in bounce rate
- 81% traffic increase year-over-year
- 2x conversions
We understand your brand’s credibility is hard-won and fragile. We know what’s at stake. We understand that CMOs (marketing leaders) live and die by brand credibility.
That’s why we use proven frameworks to safeguard and enhance one of your most valuable business assets.