Trustworthy – the new innovative

Will your brand stand the test of time?

We are living in a world of unprecedented change and innovation, and for many years the magical word "innovative" was the real killer adjective in marketing.

Not anymore. Today, according to a recent global study, ”trustworthy” beats "innovative" any day of the week. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone at the heavyweight end of B2B marketing, where the only meaningful definition of your ”brand” is how the various stakeholders relate to your perceived performance along the buying journey, and beyond.

In many industries the word “beyond” means decades of mutually rewarding communication and interaction, where the exchanged information, ideas and perspectives often relates to business-critical decisions. Over time, the definition of meaningful or game-changing innovations may change dramatically, while business relationships grow stronger and deeper.

When your customer has invested billions of dollars in steel or paper mills, telecom networks, healthcare or business systems, your strongest bonds with them are in your deep understanding of their needs. Which should be reflected in everything you do, including sales dialogues and a completely customer-centered marketing approach. In the longer-term, it's all about trust, built on honesty, clarity, competence, insight and proven responsibility.

Right now, this fundamental truth seems to spread into other, more lightweight markets as well. Is it because we already have bitten off more innovation than we can chew? Because we are becoming more aware of the longer-time perspective, the sustainability issues? Or because, in our increasingly distanced and transient business environment, trust is becoming such a scarce resource?

These are not only philosophical issues. A company like Apple is universally praised for their innovative technology and marketing, and rightly so.

But in an era of customer-orientation, distributors and partners sometimes describe this world leading company as self-centered, secretive, arrogant and generally difficult to deal with. Which, by the way, has almost always been the case with exceptionally successful companies.

That may cost them dearly, once somebody else takes the lead in the never-ending innovation game.

Rolf Andersson
Senior Writer & Strategist at Freya News

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