THE TRUST ISSUE OF THE PRACTICE PAPERS PUBLISHES MARCH 2019.

The trust=loyalty equation is real.

It’s the biggest market differentiator of our time, and we’ve dedicated an entire issue of the Practice Papers to it.

By Charlie Brown, CEO, Context Partners


We’ve been in the engagement and relationship-building game for a decade, yet never before has trust played such a crucial role in our clients’ success. Simply put, those who earn it will succeed and those who don’t will not.

The 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer reports the largest single drop in trust in the survey’s history — with Americans’ trust in all institutions dropping 37 points. And it’s no wonder. Terms like fake news, data breach, us versus them and alternative facts riddle our national dialogue. Your customers, employees and stakeholders are living and working in an atmosphere where truth itself is pretty uncertain.

We wanted to understand more about trust’s role in the daily pursuit of a successful strategy. We spoke with more than 75 executive leaders of brands, philanthropies and innovative startups in the US and Europe who are on the front lines of leveraging trust. We curated trends across these conversations and in leading reports, like the Edelman Trust Barometer and Accenture’s latest research on purpose-led brands. And we dug deep into our day-to-day client work to surface the tools of the trade that can offer the deepest value in understanding, measuring and forging trust among your most important audiences.

In the next issue of The Practice Papers, our annual thought leadership magazine, we’ll offer the most compelling stories and actionable ideas to help you answer the questions all leaders are asking: With trust at a premium, how do we earn and sustain customer loyalty? How do we pinpoint the “currency of trust” that our audiences crave most? How do we authentically optimize our influence for positive change?

Here’s just a preview of the stories this issue will offer:

Follow the Whispers — Some of the most engaged communities form around the things people are afraid to talk about — what Alicia Nakamoto, former head of the RealSelf cosmetic surgery community, calls “whisper topics.” If you can hear what your audience is whispering about, from a curiosity about cosmetic surgery, to managing money, to body image, you’ve found the best place to build community. Nakamoto shows us how.

Indispensable Connections — Money management, finances, taxes — few tasks generate more anxiety, uncertainty and doubt. Yet behind Intuit’s suite of products — TurboTax, QuickBooks, ProConnect, Mint — is an ecosystem of interconnected relationships between consumers, business owners, and the pros who can help them make smart financial decisions. By designing to enable connections at the “seams” of this ecosystem — that space between the pain point, the pro and the product itself — Intuit’s head of product design, James Helms, is building customer loyalty and powering their prosperity.

A Coalition of the Willing — The world is facing a wicked set of social problems. More and more, power players are uniting to tackle them in a “better together” approach, with networks that promise faster innovation and pooling of critical resources. Yet few are thriving. Ben Hecht, head of the Living Cities network, explores why and offers simple but powerful ideas to help more networks get out of their own way.

We’ll also unpack compelling stories arguing for human interaction over tech, peer-to-peer social proof over influencers, and long-game employee trust building over one-off campaigns.

With The Practice Papers we want to lead bold conversations that start from a place of curiosity. Won’t you join us? Follow us here, or click below to get on our launch list. We’ll send you a free digital copy and an invitation to our launch webinars and events, where you’ll get more hands-on, real-time access to the people behind the issues.

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