The BusinessWeek article "The Great Trust Offensive" is worth a read. We consumers are skeptical of advertising, jaded by bailouts, huge executive bonuses..and let's not get into the rash of bad customer service experiences. This video (go to link above) summarizes the article....and there is hope!! =)
There are many examples of trusted companies. Companies that have figured out how to focus more on people and less on profit. Companies that are strong, sustainable and financially successful. Companies that view their people as the key ingredient to their success..not a "cost center" or a "human resource". Companies like John Deere and Chapmans Ice Cream come to mind.
In the B2B world, trust and credibility matter today more then ever. Why? Because trust is what makes or breaks a relationship and builds a solid reputation.
A value proposition means nothing if we can't deliver on it. And, today, even if we do deliver on it we must be able to prove that we did! Ideally through word of mouth. This is where I think social media and networking can play a role. (Future post planned on this!)
Lets not jump on the "trust" bandwagon and start peppering our copy and conversations with hollow promises and taglines like "trusted advisor" or "you can trust us". A great book that has really opened my eyes about earning trust is Chris Brogan and Julien Smith's book Trust Agents. I highly recommend it.
Linkroll (other links of interest):
Building your b2b brand
Importance of strategic references
Trust in the Online Retail World
If you'd like me to link to an article of interest let me know and I'll add it to this link roll.