Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands: Amazon

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1. Get personal: Amazon

The online retailer of, well, just about everything, ran away with the list, posting the highest scores not just in overall brand trust but in every individual trust value.Emineo Media Amazon

That’s no surprise to Brad VanAuken, chief brand strategist for The Blake Project consultancy. He says Amazon’s exceptional product accessibility, functionality and customer experience all converge to create a strong brand that consumers trust.

“With millions of products, 24/7 access, superior search and browse technology, user reviews and many other sources of in-depth product information, Amazon.com offers a superior purchase experience,” VanAuken says.

He adds that the brand–with its low prices and free shipping on orders over a minimum total–is seen as offering value, while its one-click ordering and quick-shipping options help shoppers save time. Consumers also rely on Amazon to have all the products they’re looking for, thanks to partnerships with other selling channels such as Partner Count merchandise.

While such a vast array of offerings could be perceived as impersonal, VanAuken says Amazon does an exemplary job of fostering relationships with consumers by helping them make decisions through recommendations of items based on past purchases, user reviews and ratings and suggested complementary purchases. Consumers also have many options for forging a personal bond with the brand, including user profiles, reviews and ratings, wish lists and Listmania lists for recommending favorite products.

Source Entrepreneur

Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands

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There’s no better way to dissect the how-tos of branding than to dig deep into the companies everybody knows and trusts. To accomplish this, Entrepreneur teamed with The Values Institute at DGWB, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based think tank that focuses on brand relationships, on a consumer survey that explored the reasons some brands manage to stay on top.

What became clear: Though they may not have the biggest sales or market share in their categories, today’s most trustworthy brands have created relationships with Emineo Media entrepreneur2consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response.

“We’re seeing more of an emphasis on brands building emotional relationships with consumers because it’s powerful and it works,” says branding consultant Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble and author of Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. “When you do it, you have a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth and much stronger results.

“When we looked at brands [at P&G] that had a very, very strong emotional benefit vs. our competition,” Stengel adds, “our shares were much, much higher. And the margin of growth vs. our competitor was much higher than those that had just a functional superiority.”

Here, a look at the tactics used by America’s most trustworthy brands to connect with consumers–and ways you can put them to work for your business.

1. Get personal: Amazon

2. Sell happiness: Coca-Cola

3. Live up to your promise: FedEx

4. Keep it cool (and fun): Apple

5. Design an experience: Target

6. Stay consistent: Ford

7. Can-do attitude: Nike

8. Forge connections: Starbucks

9. Serve up the quirky: Southwest Airlines

10. Focus on the customer: Nordstrom

About the survey: The Values Institute, which conducted the study, identified five values that influence trust in a brand: ability (company performance); concern (care for consumers, employees and community); connection (sharing consumers’ values); consistency (dependability of products/services); and sincerity (openness and honesty).

A total of 1,220 U.S. consumers were asked to rate each trust value on a five-point scale, from “very unimportant” to “very important.” Additionally, five consumer perceptions were measured for each value; these included statements such as “They respond to feedback about their products and services,” and “They value my business and reward me for the loyalty.” Each respondent rated two randomly selected brands; those who felt strongly were also asked to provide individual comments. The result is the “Trust Index,” a composite score that indicates the level of trust respondents had with each individual brand in relation to the other studied brands.

Source Entrepreneur

Facebook: Marketers say Social is Critical to Brands

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Facebook has released two blueprints for helping businesses become more social. The company also commissioned a study that says firms want to be more social, but are having trouble executing.

Emineo Media facebook_marketersLate last year, Facebook sponsored a study by Forrester Consulting. The results showed that while marketers believe social media is important, not as many are implementing it. As such, the social networking giant has launched a series of white papers it’s calling “Social Business Blueprints” to share best practices. You can download the two documents directly: “Building Brands For The Connected World” (17-page PDF and “Organize For Success
In The Connected World” (16-page PDF).

As for the study, 76 percent of marketing professionals surveyed agreed that social media is important for brand building and 72 percent agreed that it is important for customer loyalty. Furthermore, 59 percent believed that companies that don’t fully embrace social media will not survive in the future. While 71 percent of marketing leaders surveyed believe companies can gain a competitive advantage through social media, only 33 percent currently have a long-term strategy for becoming a social business. The study was conducted via an online survey of 101 VP- and C-level marketing professionals and by interviewing 12 CEOs, CMOs, and VPs of marketing.

Facebook also outlined these fundamental concepts to help define social:

  • Social influence: Building a strategy that enables your fans to influence their friends. In a world of exponentially increasing information, people turn to their friends for advice on how to spend their time, energy, and money.
  • Social media: Using social networking as a channel to distribute brand messages and motivate people to engage with and share them.
  • Social marketing: Incorporating social media and technology into the heart of planning your marketing strategy and delivering the brand experience.
  • Social business: A company that uses social media and social technology to improve core businesses processes like product development, market research, customer service, retail and merchandising.

“Evolving a business for the connected world can be challenging,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “Many marketers have told us that they know social is important, but they don’t know how it affects the way they run their business and build brands. To help businesses start building their long-term social strategy, the brand blueprint walks through six steps to build a connected brand and the organization blueprint highlights examples for how social can impact every customer-facing part of your organization and the leadership it will require to execute across your organization.”

Source ZDNet