Who do you trust?
By Chris O’Keeffe (Executive Producer at JAR Audio)
For the third year in a row, Edelman’s Trust Barometer has placed brands at the top of the list — above governments and media — as the public’s most trusted institution.
Think about that for a minute.
Employees, customers, and audiences of all kinds are more likely to trust information coming from a brand than from their own government or news outlets.
With great power comes great responsibility. And opportunity.
Consumers now expect brands to take a stand on meaningful issues. According to Edelman, more than 1000 businesses got out of Russia due to its invasion of Ukraine. This is four times the number that left South Africa during apartheid. This movement – responsible, political, and socially aware, is a major contributing factor to the recent increased faith in businesses as an institution.
As we see from this example, there’s a mindshare ROI for public ethical stands. In podcasting we are looking for attention, not dollars. Attention follows trust, and brands taking a strong stand against an obviously negative or detrimental situation, such as a war, builds trust with your audience. Similarly, brands facilitating dialogue around issues customers care deeply about like climate change, institutional racism, or body positivity is not only “okay,” – it’s expected.
So the lesson for brands is – don’t be afraid to show your colors. Audiences, especially Gen Z whose brand loyalty is known to be issues-driven, will reward you for it.
In 2023, mindshare is at a premium. There’s lots of competition for the hearts, ears, and eyeballs of customers. We live in an attention economy afterall – and brands are learning – even in economic slowdown – to invest in their customers holistically. People are more than the products they buy. Human beings are constantly looking for tools that will help them navigate the complexities of everyday life, and stories that will elevate the everyday to the extraordinary. One way to engage customers meaningfully is to simply offer them something they value. Just give it to them – like a gift – without strings attached. This kind of generosity is what begets true brand loyalty.
What about Audio?
One of the best gifts you can give a potential customer is great content. And if you can give this gift in a way that recognizes their need to move through the world – offscreen – you corner the market on their time. Audio is the biggest growing brand touchpoint for good reason. It allows brands the chance to be the leading voice in people’s cars, smart speakers and headphones. People typically engage with portable audio stories far longer than they do with other forms of marketing, such as Youtube videos.
JAR Audio’s new Director of Audience Growth, Liz Hames, has a simple quote about the real value of branded podcasts:
“Create a show that people love. And because you made a show that people love, they’ll think fondly of the brand.”
In other words, you’ll gain their trust.
To learn more about how a podcast can build trust, check out this other post.