By Gabriel Shaoolian. Source: Forbes.
In 2017, strong brand credibility is more essential than ever before. With so many companies competing for customer interest, the ability to truly connect with your users in a way that forms a sense of trust is critical. This can be a key differentiator between what you and your competitors bring to the table.
Nearly all customers first engage with a brand online and for many, the digital space is the only place they have the opportunity to engage with customers. Leaving the right impression with users on your website and offering a pleasant user-experience is critical to bolstering brand credibility.
In recent years, we’ve seen many brands emerge as the leaders in their industry, where only a short time before, they were little more than small start-ups. Brands like Casper and Warby Parker are great examples of the type of brand credibility that companies should aspire to. In some ways, both of these brands have built an almost cult-like following. Their products are not simply used by people across the globe, but are products that are truly loved by consumers.
To understand the significance of a brand like Casper or Warby Parker’s success, think about the nature of their vastly different businesses:
Casper operates only online, and the process of buying a mattress is historically something that was almost always done in-store. How could someone buy a mattress without testing out its comfort? Casper has certainly surpassed this seemingly obvious challenge, as their forecasted growth is quite impressive.
Warby Parker has about 50 stores in the U.S. and Canada, but the majority of their business is done online. Similarly to the Casper example above, it’s safe to assume that many eyeglass-wearers like to try on a certain frame before they purchase it. For the most part, this is something you’d think would be done in a brick-and-mortar location, but Warby Parker has changed the game with that.
So, while there ultimately are many factors that have contributed to the exponential growth these companies have experienced, their strong brand credibility and loyalty amongst customers is undoubtedly a major factor. Let’s take a look at both companies’ web presences to understand some key takeaways that can help any company across any vertical establish and bolster impressive brand credibility.
Customer Service Matters
Phenomenal customer service is one of the most common elements found among the top brands across all industries. We’ve seen a brand like Zappos really skyrocket in terms of sales in the last decade. For many customers, when asked why they buy shoes at this online retailer, the brand’s unparalleled customer service is often the reason.
In the highly competitive ecommerce space, exceptional customer service policies and representatives are what help brands maintain a loyal customer base. For most companies, prominently displaying your customer service “strong points” is critical to ensuring that users are aware of the benefits your brand offers aside from traditional products and services.
Take Warby Parker for example. Similar to mattresses, the process of buying eyeglasses was historically an offline experience. Most people want to try on frames to see how they fit on their face before making a purchase. Warby Parker has revolutionized this with their “Home Try-On” program – a critical part of their customer service experience.
Warby Parker users can easily select five different frames and test them out for five days—all from the comfort of their own home. The company ships the glasses for free to users, and allows the customer to do a free return once the trial period ends.
Similarly, Casper makes the experience of buying a mattress simple to complete online. In an industry typically associated with the offline experience, Casper has succeeded in bridging the gap to the online space—primarily due to their exceptional customer service. As an added boost of confidence for customers, Casper boasts a phenomenal “100 night trial.”
This sort of trust promises users that if they aren’t completely happy with the product, they can easily return it and receive a full refund.
Both of these brands do an incredible job of prominently displaying how their trial process works in the simplest terms possible. From the use of sharp imagery and stellar iconography, to concise messaging, they communicate the main focus to users without bombarding them with too much content. With this type of program tailored uniquely for customers, it’s no surprise that Warby Parker users revisit the site time and time again.
Simple & User-Friendly Website Design
As most brands know now, a simple and user-friendly website design is essential to helping users navigate and convert onsite. If there are complications on your website, including anything from functionalities to unclear messaging, users are unlikely to stay on the site long, let alone return for additional visits. To build a loyal customer base online, your website should embody all the best UX practices, especially in terms of design and content.
When you land on the Casper website, you’re presented with a series of elements that all embody true best practices in the digital realm. From the prominent phone number located at the top of the screen, live chat button, and incredibly simple navigation, the homepage alone embodies some of the most user-friendly design elements in modern website design.
Something as seemingly trivial as not displaying a phone number can play a massive role in bounce rate, users never returning to your site and feeling frustrated with your brand.
Tailor Content to What Interests Your Users
Before you start any marketing efforts, you should always have a thorough understanding of who your audience is and what they care about. Staring with this discovery period is essential as it helps to shape all of your marketing efforts, including onside content.
If we look to Casper again as an example, their onsite content is tailored to the specific interests of their customers. The brand takes users on a journey that shows them their approach to bedding and what makes their products unique in comparison to the competition.
Failing to understand what users want to know about your brand before they even land on your site can adversely impact sales. Customers should be able to have nearly all of their questions answered in the first few minutes – or even seconds – of engaging with your site. If your content doesn’t immediately speak to the needs of your customers and they have to search for the information needed, they aren’t likely to convert or return back to your site in the future.
Product Details Are Important
Customers today can do their research before they make a purchase. They can find out a great deal of information about your products before they ever click “buy now” and as a brand, it’s your job to do your best to inform users of what they can expect with your products. This means that things like strong product imagery and details, as well as customer reviews, are important!
Warby Parker offers extensive details when it comes to their glasses. Aside from high-quality imagery, they offer in-depth dimensions regarding sizing and fit, an interactive image that allows you to see the frames on a model at different angles, and a unique module that allows users to find a fit that best suits their style interests and face. Each unique frame also has a list of product details that taps into the manufacturing process and some of the factors that make these frames so much better than their competitors.
Product details are of course necessary for brands today, but the level of product details you offer is up to you. The more that you can offer and inform users with, the greater the likelihood that you can capture their interest, and secure them as a loyal customer for years to come.
Why Brand Credibility Matters
Brand credibility is the difference between a one-time customer and a long-term customer. The value that a long-term customer can bring is indispensable. To establish a strong customer base however, you need to build a relationship with your users that shows them your brand is trustworthy, credible, and can offer to them what they need.
As we look at brands like Warby Parker and Casper, there is a lot that can be learned and applied to brands across other verticals about establishing a sense of brand credibility.
To learn more about how your website can help boost brand credibility, visit Blue Fountain Media online.