Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Trust is the New Green

I wonder if this phrase will grow in popularity. It was respectfully plagiarised by Thomas Brown at a CIM seminar I attended last week and appears to originate from Graham Sadd. It resonates in the current climate where trust in various institutions has, rightly or wrongly, been eroded. In this post credit crunch age the successful new entrants to various market places will be those who join the battle with a shiny lustre of trustworthiness.

Trustworthy Brands
Recently we’ve seen Tesco move into banking. Some consumers would never have considered moving from their high street banks before but now the lure of accessibility and savings isn’t hindered by the once comforting authority of the traditional banking brands. Tesco has as much right to consumer trust as many of the banks and, like the other supermarkets, has helped those consumers save money in the hard times.

Trust is what enabled toothpaste manufacturers to move into making toothbrushes. If you think about it in terms of design and manufacturing processes this is a big departure but that history of dental protection helps us make the leap of faith...

...and then there are Land Rover mountain bikes, Duracell torches, Caterpillar boots...

Trustworthy Recruiters
There are always plenty of players in the recruitment market. Some are corporate and some are small specialists. Who are the ones who will come through this downturn strongly?
The ones who:

· Listen to clients and candidates and remember what is important to them.

· Call when they say they will and give feedback even if the news isn’t good.

· Specialise in getting things right and believe in long term relationships.

· Go the extra mile and stay professional when times are tough.

Yes, it’s all about trust, well that’s what we think anyway. Every industry has its own issues but trust has to be right up there just now.

Here’s another phrase to ponder: “Recession is the mother of innovation” – I’ll credit that one to Ian Smith, former Senior VP Europe for Oracle who spoke at the CW Jobs seminar in July this year. There is a history of successful companies being born in times of economic downturn because that’s when growth can only be based on a genuine value proposition coupled with excellent service. In most cases this has been backed up with an innovative marketing campaign or way of doing business.

Could it be that this logic applies at the individual level?

Personal Branding
Yes. The people who understand the unique value they can bring to an organisation and are innovative enough to find new ways of communicating that message will eventually prosper provided they have the soft skills to engender the trust that is so vital in today’s market. That may mean applying for a new role at your current employer, starting your own company, publicising yourself through social media, creating a blog or a website or standing on a column in Trafalgar Square. So what are you going to do? The great thing about innovation is that there are no limits.

See you for more soon!

PS. Despite the title of this week’s blog Picture More feel that acting environmentally reflects the kind of responsible attitude that gains trust rather than being something we have moved on from!

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