There are five areas that I talk to people about focusing on how to build brand trust. One of these key areas is and if you do this, all the other ones come together. Is keep your promises.
Marius: 00:00 Kyle, good afternoon.
Kyle: 00:02 Afternoon Marius.
Marius: 00:04 If you can start off with those of us that don't know the concept. What is a brand mentor?
Kyle: 00:14 A person that helps and supports entrepreneurs to build and grow their brand.
Marius: 00:19 and if you talk about brands, what do we suggest in terms of names so that everybody can know what we talking about. I can mention a few, everybody knows Adidas, everybody knows Engine, everybody knows KFC, Is that in the right direction, Kyle?
Kyle: 00:36 That is correct. It's at any point where you want your customer, you want your market, to choose you over your competitor. As soon as your name becomes something that you want people to talk about that you think you think you want to create a brand then fundamentally you have a brand. So as soon as someone says, I'm going to buy this from So-and-so or from this company because it is better than that person's or that company, you have a brand and it's something that you need to develop and that you need to invest into.
Marius: 01:11 Am I right by saying or assuming perhaps, that's the wrong term, but that brand mentoring, the brand itself is based on a small word trust.
Kyle: 01:21 Correct? Yeah. That is the number one thing, that is the reason why brands are successful and why they are successful. Brands that are able to build trust, so that's fundamentally how you should view a brand, it should be something that you, when you're building your trust within your company within your market, people are attaching that trust, to your brand and therefore it becomes an asset for your business. Obviously if you're not building trust your brand actually can become a liability for your company and you will find that more often than not, when companies change their brand, you know, fundamentally they now have a completely new look and feel to the way their stores look or their packaging or even the customer experience, the way people answer the phone. It's fundamentally because they've found that the previous brand was attached to something that wasn't very positive, very negative for the company, so in order to break from that, they re-branded.
Marius: 02:22 Kyle, if I say this and I mean it unfortunately that happens quite a lot. Let's take example one and that's where I go and buy Nike shoes. I'm off to the gym now, brought a brand new set of Nike's, but they not the same. They don't last. The stickers come off. They're not comfortable. I lose trust in Nike then and I go to the next one. Adidas, as soon as you start losing trust, the, building of the brand that you've done, throughout the course of time that falls down the drain quickly?
Kyle: 02:54 Correct, That is correct. Yes. So not following through. If you're not delivering on your promise erodes brand trust and that can happen in multiple ways so it's not just in the product can be in the service, can be, you know, in the way the product was delivered, you know, all sorts of things can, can lead to bad trust, also you know greater PR, people care about where that pair of shoes was made and how it was made and he said it wasn't done in an ethical manner whether it was abusing people abusing the planet. That can also have a negative effect on your brand, you know, so yes all those types of things can erode your trust which undermines your brand.
Marius: 03:42 Kyle the next question comes up, how long does it actually take to build a brand, does this come over years, does this come in the last six months. How quickly can you lose this and if you do, what do you do to regain the trust that we've been talking about just now?
Kyle: 03:49 Yeah. look I think that, you know, it takes years to build the brand. It's like a reputation. You know, the words brand and reputation. I think people should, you know, to make it more understandable because I think people can get confused when you say the word brand, but just think reputation when I say the word brand because that's fundamentally the two and everyone knows from a personal in terms of my individual reputation, it can take decades to build a reputation and it can take minutes to destroy it. We've seen that in terms of, you know, the likes of Tiger Woods, you know, Lance Armstrong with those people that were heroes to us that, you know, then we say our local hero in inverted commas, Oscar Pistorius? You know, his reputation was destroyed instantaneously that had been built for many years. So yes, it's an ongoing thing in terms of building trust whether, it's regaining it or building it from scratch, it makes no a difference.
Kyle: 04:50 There's five areas that I talk to people about with being focused. I will say it's simple to understand, they can be a little bit complex to more difficult to implement in the business and that's where I come in to help you implement them. But I think that today I want to talk about those five things, you know, those are the five things that anyone can implement into their business and it can really start to help them build trust with their customers.
Kyle: 05:16 The first one is, be transparent. I think the, you know, there's an index that shows that trust in marketing and advertising is at an all time low and that's across the globe. And that's because people are done being fooled or being lied to. We all very skeptical, you know, we all like, you know that, it's too good to be true is more of a reality for us. You know, we're expecting to catch just around the corner. So the more transparent you can be about, what you do, the more you clear you can be the better. You know, there's a brand in America which does outdoor clothing similar to I think the local market. We have that one with the gecko, I forget exactly the name but you buy them at Sportsman's warehouse, that kind of brand. It's an outdoor brands that people wear it when they're hiking with her when they're trail running, that type of stuff. And they said, well, our market is very concerned about the environment and we're just going to be very transparent with them. So they set up a website where you could go and you could see exactly what materials, chemicals, etc. were used in the making of those garments and not trying to make it sound like it was good news when it was really not that great. They were being very honest, they were being very open and transparent. And the irony of that. So the catch on that was for them was that they sales grew by 30 percent because fundamentally what the market said was well these guys are willing to tell us the truth and I know what's going into the garment and the other brand that I would normally buy, they're not telling, so I'm not trusting them as much. These guys are willing to be honest.
Kyle: 07:00 The second thing which kind of follows directly on from being transparent is to be understandable. Now some of us will sell really simple things like a pie or a hamburger, but even those things have become well i guess more complicated, but if you sell something particularly that's technical like what I do, for example, I try not to use as many acronyms or technical terms as what is physically possible to do in explaining the service that we provide. Because if you're not understandable, it comes across it's human nature that we think that there's something you're trying to hide from me or there's something that you're trying to push onto me and you're using these big words or these little acronyms, which I don't know what they mean to try and sell me something. So the more understandable you are the more clear you are, the better it is. It also makes you seem more human to a person.
Kyle: 07:50 Then the third thing is to look at what you sell the product and the service and try to eliminate risk. You know, and I think the greatest example of this is in the local market on, you know, if you look at the fastest growing car brands in our market, they're Kia, Hyundai, Suzuki. And then those brands growing fundamentally off the basis that they have is when they try to eliminate as much of the risk of associated with their brands. So when their brands came in they were new, people didn't know them, it's not German, it's not Japanese, it must be an inferior brand. So, what they did to over come that were they both in these are longer term warranties. So I don't know if you've noticed in the market, so everyone's dying to get these five or seven year warranties with a vehicle. That's fundamentally been led by Hyundai and the likes of Kia because they want to offer you more guarantee they want you, to trust their brand more. So, within your own product or service, think about where you can reduce or eliminate risk as much as possible, it's not always possible, but as much as possible.
Kyle: 08:57 Then the fourth thing, which is I think, you know, for me the most critical one is, it doesn't matter how big you are or small you are, be human, you know, respond to people with empathy. You know, the other day I had a plumber to do some work in our house and the next day I noticed there was a leak, so when I phoned the lady and I phoned her pretty late in the afternoon, so it was pretty tight and it was a Saturday. So, it was already after hours, but the way she responded was brilliant because she, she spoke as if she understood me. In other words, she said, gee, that must be already bad already, you know, but you know, there must be a not great situation and I understand you I'm going to do my best to try and solve the problem. Rather than making it about her or their problem and like you know it's late, it's Saturday and talking about them from their point of view. They talked to me for, you know, that they understood me, they showed me empathy. So they won me over to them, even though there was a problem. And even though that problem was actually caused by their workmanship, it was still, they won me over a little bit. And that's the thing. If you're willing to be human and you're willing to be empathetic to people and listen to people and see things from their side. Even when you've messed up as a brand or as a company, even when we maybe you haven't delivered a hundred percent, you will win them over that they will still try you again. In fact, There's data that shows that they're even more likely to refer you on because they say that a company with empathy is more important than a company that's perfect because perfection doesn't actually really exist.
Kyle: 10:41 And then I guess the fifth one which is really simple and it really sums up with number one thing with all brands is, keep your promises. You know, if you, if you've said that you're going to deliver that thing in 24 or 48 hours, deliver it 24, 48 hours. If you said the pie is 100 percent beef, make sure it's 100 percent beef you know, don't let me bite into it and find something else in the pie because that's going to undermine your brand. And I think even though that sounds very kind of, you know, people say well that's logical, that's common sense. I want to say that in terms of executing on your brand and when your in the day to day running of your business, it can get easy to slip on that and it can get easy to be lost in the running of your business and forget your promises. So those are the five key things I would say in terms of building trust.
Kyle: 11:34 One, be as transparent and open as possible. Two, leading on from that, be understandable as possible, talk in common or plain language as much as possible. Three, look at your product or your service, look at it from your customer's point of view and try and eliminate or reduce as much risk as possible. Four, be human, be empathic, talk to people as if they're human beings don't give them some kind of a corporate spiel about who you are and where you are. And then number five, which is obviously a key one, and if you do this, all the other ones come together is, keep your promises. So don't put it on the outside, don't put it on the packaging because it's not something that you actually do.
Marius: 12:15 I couldn't have put it better and I'd like to add the following while listening to you. What becomes clear is this, say what you do and then do what you say. And this is what people expect and I think that will go a long way in terms of establishing that trust and then building the brand automatically.
Kyle: 12:35 From there yes, that's correct.
Marius: 12:37 Just a final question Kyle, the term brand mentoring, is that a new concept, I mean if we talk about BMW and Mercedes Benz, very very early years, was there somebody like yourself involved in that or did the market place become such that it is now a requirement to have a brand mentor on your side.
Kyle: 13:01 Yeah I think for me, I don't actually know if the term existed before I came up with it. I know that people used mentors and they used business coaches. So what, what logically came to mind with me is well, you know, within the agency that I work in is I'm the strategist and then what I've found is with being the strategist for the client is I end up mentoring them. In other words I end up helping individuals within their team to develop their team, to develop their people in understanding the strategy and where it needs to go and supporting the. Because the majority of our clients come from an unbranded space so in other words, they were previously, never really thought of themselves as a brand and they've come to realise that they do need to develop there brand in order to grow their business to where it needs to be. You know, in the case of some of them, their products or services are traded as a commodity. They have no negotiating power around price because there is no differentiation between them and their competitor and therefore the price is totally dictated by the market, so they have to become a brand so that they can create that point of differentiation and move from price takers to price makers. Others, are looking to grow into a new market where their reputation isn't set, so they've been in a certain location and they've done well in that location but now they need to move on from that. How do they transfer that reputation from one place to the other? Well, they have to create a brand, they have to get their consistency going and that kind of stuff. So the reason why I call myself a brand mentor is because they are people that don't understand what a brand is. I do and I understand the journey that you need to take deliver it and I'm there to support you achieve that dream.
Marius: 14:54 Well said Kyle, thank you so much. Intelligent people, intelligent facts, thank you for joining us and I hope this goes from strength to strength. I'm saying again in the market place that we know today, it's not that easy anymore distinguishing yourself from your competitors just right next door. Kyle, Thank you so much, it's been a valuable input for you and we appreciate your time.
Kyle: 15:19 Thank you Marius, it's been a pleasure in sharing with you guys.