Marketing today is different. Reviews are just as important as advertising. Advertising needs to be more authentic and look less like advertising. Real photos are replacing stock imagery. Real stories are more effective than an “actor portrayal.” Transparency is replacing hidden fees and pricing.
There are new driving forces in marketing — trust and affinity.
- Trust is “Do they understand my problem? Do they care about me? Do they come through when I need them? Do they make me better?” Strong relationships are built on trust. Truth builds trust. Reliability builds trust.
- Affinity is “Do I like them? Do they fit my ethos? Does the association improve my brand?” Affinity is built with empathy, kinship and harmony of ideas and beliefs. It’s reinforced with understanding.
Some have described these two concepts as the “new currency” of marketing and sales. Trust disappears when you find out that the “lowest price of the year” was just the same as the Memorial Day sale price or that a store raised its prices before offering a 40% markdown. Affinity is lost when you put yourself before the customer or when you brag too much or switch your mission. What you trust and like about people are now the same for brands.
Trust and affinity. You need both. They now bookend brand.