CHAPTER THREE

CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS HAVE CHANGED

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The Decline of Brand Trust and Rise of the Brand Advocate

WHILE WE EXPECT SO MUCH FROM THE CUSTOMER, THE customer is expecting even more back from the brand. And with history as our witness, customers (for the most part) are having trouble trusting brands, which means trouble for many businesses. Without a relationship based on trust, we are not likely to breed brand Advocates or even loyal customers who support us. Let's put the issue of brand trust in context.

We have all heard of David versus Goliath, and their mythical battle re-created for today when one individual armed with the power of social media takes on a corporate giant and wins. Well, it's no myth; it's now a business reality that happens daily in one form or another.

One example that has come to be known as the United Breaks Guitars video specifically comes to mind. This simple but effective message really set the benchmark for others to follow. The last time I viewed it on YouTube, the viewer count was at 14,347,854 (and I watched it twice more)—that's a lot of people who watched the video and shared the experience. To recap the story quickly, a battle started when United Airlines passenger Dave Carroll saw his beloved Taylor guitar get badly damaged on the tarmac by one of the airline's baggage handlers. After many attempts to get restitution from United failed, ...

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