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"Customers are reaching for trusted brands"

Tim Williams

“Consumers are reaching for trusted brands”

(David Taylor, CEO, Chairman and President, Procter & Gamble. Interviewed on Sky News, March 16th, 2021)


An interview yesterday with the head of Procter & Gamble highlighted a simple but powerful truth about customer behaviour: when push comes to shove we always fall back on the safety of what we trust.


Two intriguing questions were posed: how had P&G managed to increase sales whilst simultaneously reducing their spend on marketing, and have consumers become less ‘adventurous’ since Covid? The affirmative answer to the second question helps answer the first; in a time of great uncertainty an established brand offers people a sense of stability - perhaps even comfort - when confronted with anxiety and unprecedented experiences.


Few would disagree that customer trust is essential for any brand, but how many businesses fully understand what exactly their customers want to trust them for? The answer of course varies greatly depending on industry, category and brand, and not least on the characteristics of different customer segments.


Which is why FourForty was created.


Uncovering what builds and, equally importantly, what erodes customer trust in the brands they encounter lies at the heart of what we do for our clients. We believe that understanding the dynamics of customer trust is essential if a brand is to stand any chance of influencing customer behaviour.


The biggest thing we have learned though is this: unlike so many ‘transformational’ projects, winning, growing and restoring trust does not need huge investments in money and time; it simply requires you to equip your people with the right insights and then empower them to act upon this knowledge. It’s also worth pointing out that customer trust is possibly the least risky investment you can make right now, often requiring relatively simple fixes - provided, of course, you know what these need to be.


We recognise that the last year has witnessed both a growing appreciation of the importance of trust (as acknowledged by the CEO of P&G) and a sea-change in many customer behaviours. Organisations that have survived the pandemic may find that the recovery is in fact a far more dangerous period for them.


Want to learn more? Get in touch now and we’ll share some thoughts on what this means for your business.

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