More than a Matter of Trust: Sustained Market Success is Driven by How Much Your Customers Trust, Love, and Respect Your Business
Los Angeles, California May 14, 2022 (Issuewire.com) - C.W. Park says that there are two types of pro-brand behaviors by customers stimulate demand for a firm's product (or brand) and reduce the unit cost for customer acquisition and retention. They are called brand loyalty behaviors and brand advocacy behaviors. Brand loyalty behaviors include repeated purchases over competing brands, willingness to pay a price premium, unwillingness to substitute for other brands, and willingness to forgive a brand's mishaps.
Brand advocacy behaviors include recommending a brand to others, defending a brand from others' criticisms, public showcasing of a brand and brand community involvement. The loyalty of current brand users secures stable demand for the brand. With their brand advocacy behaviors, brand champions and enthusiasts actively participate in activities to acquire new customers and retain current customers.
We all know that in the late 1990s and early 2000, the power of Apple was simply phenomenal. People first bought Apple products and then tried to figure out what they do with its products. There were many Apple maniacs. The average tenure of Cat dealers worldwide is slightly over 50 years, C.W. Park explains.
It is really mind-boggling to see that each dealer remains with Cat for more than 50 years, letting their children succeed in their parents' work. In the case of Cat, the most important pro-brand behavior by dealers is customer retention (how long its independent dealers stay with Cat.)
Why are customers willing to lavishly engage in brand loyalty and brand advocacy behaviors? This is where we must introduce three key emotions, brand trust, love, and respect: trust with a brand's dependable and convenient benefits, love for a brand with its emotional touch, its aesthetic design and its sensory appeal, and respect toward a brand based on values and principles that it stands for.
Trust, love, and respect together elicit the feeling of the bond between a brand and the self. When a brand is considered to be part of themselves, customers have strong motivation to be loyal and advocate for the brand. It is important to note that trust, love, and respect must be present together in order for eliciting strong brand attachment.
For example, trust without love is like a year without summer. C.W. Park notes that brand admiration is only lukewarm at best and not sustainable over time. Love without trust and respect is like a car with no engine. You can push, but it won't get very far. Also, respect without love only makes people bow from a distance. We should note that respect is the most powerful motivational force for brand loyalty and brand advocacy behaviors because they are most difficult to enact, and respect most strongly motivates consumers to overcome transaction difficulties.
We can understand why this is true when we look at human relationships. For example, a marital relationship is strongest, and both parties are happiest when each party loves, trusts, and respects the other. Loving one's partner without trusting them leads to an anxiety-ridden relationship that will never last. Trusting one's partner other without loving them results in a cold and unfulfilling relationship.
Loving one's partner without respecting them leads to relationship instability. C.W Park expresses that the same can be said for relationships characterized by trust but not involving respect. The longest and most enduring committed relationships are characterized by love, trust, and respect. We call these Admiration relationships.
We can also understand why all three emotions are relevant for business success: trust, love, and respect. Trust adds confidence and sustains business relationships by reducing anxiety and creating feelings that the business will be there for you, in thick and thin. You believe it's acting in your best interests when you trust a business. Trust is a bit like a human's health, though. We tend to take it for granted as long as it's there.
But we certainly miss it once we have to deal with a life without it! Trust alone only does so much for a given relationship. Trust alone perhaps makes us shake someone else's hands in human relationships. Will we hug them? Probably not. Trust is a bit boring. It is fine to survive, but that's about it. Unlike love, it lacks charisma. It lacks flavor.
What about love? Love needs to be accompanied by trust and respect for a relationship to be healthy and sustainable. Love without trust is like a car with no engine. We can make it go by pushing it, but it won't go very far. How about respect? Respect adds another critical dimension to a brand relationship. When we respect a brand, we feel inspired; we applaud it for its principles, and it helps make people their best possible selves. Does respect alone carry a relationship?
Respect alone may not trigger solid behavioral motivations. Respect without love is likely to involve an arms-length relationship. Respect may make us bow at someone from a distance. Without love, a relationship only based on respect will not be a lasting happy bond. Thus, in order to have a meaningful, strong, lasting customer-business relationship, a business must elicit all three relationship-inducing emotions, i.e., trust, love, and respect.
Source :C.W. Park
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