One of the UK’s financial watchdogs, the FCA, stepped up to the plate last year in the number of times it intervened in order to make businesses change their models, products and marketing.
One of the reasons businesses build a brand is to aim at getting recognition of the brand in order to become a trusted choice for consumers and most of them work hard to stay that way as something which has taken years to build can be gone in an instant.
The Virgin group is a good example of the trust which Richard Branson inspires as he has the image of a self-made man who makes things better for the average consumer whereas across the finance industry there are countless examples where an industry which is trusted with consumer’s money, seemingly can’t be trusted to run it’s own bath whether you are looking at the eye wateringly large interest rates charged by pay day lenders to the fund manager who racked up thousands in fines for unpaid train fares to moneysupermarket.co.uk, which I’ve always considered to be a trustworthy website, being told to take a little more care with some of its headline grabbing statistics.
Being able to trust someone until they prove unworthy is a nice space to be in but in order to make sure that you don’t get tripped up if they are unscrupulous means you either need to do some research, get to know them as well as you think you can or hold back a little.
I think we are going to see a shift in the levels of trust we have so that big institutions will have to work harder in order to gain and retain the trust of consumers and individuals who run small businesses work at building relationships with potential clients.
What would you rather do?
Blindly trust your faith in a huge corporation whose employees are merely represenatives of that firm or get to know the small business owner who has their livelihood at stake if they betray your trust?
I know what choice I would make, every single time.