Why Brand Trust Is No Longer as Important as Innovative Value

The mistake many established companies make in keeping up with today’s consumers

Photo by Life Of Pix from Pexels

Do you trust it?

When Uber came to Los Angeles around 2012, I used it weekly to get to and from LAX airport. Uber saved me considerable time, stress, and expense of parking.

A new growth market emerges

It didn’t take long for people to recognize Uber’s innovative “value” in terms of convenience, ease of payment, comfort, driver attitude, and attentiveness. The highest-rated drivers gave you bottled water and a cord to recharge your phone battery.

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The challenge of creating value

Many established organizations lose sight of the idea that a business is essentially a value-creating system. And customers are a value-seeking species. But what customers find valuable is a moving target.

Mr. Blue MauMau from USA, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Two-headed culture

In an ideal world, you’d have both types of leaders and teams at the top: a Steve Jobs paired up with a Tim Cook. But on his own, Steve Jobs was a bit unbearable, which is part of what led to his ouster at Apple in 1985. Elon Musk has flirted with the same line.

So what’s the solution?

I’ve worked in the innovation field for over 30 years with well-known consumer brands such as Whole Foods, Harley Davidson, Kroger, Kraft, Cadbury, Mondelez, and Coca-Cola.

Where should CEOs focus their time?

Because of the pressure of quarterly earnings reports, stock price maintenance, etc., most CEOs focus their time on the profit maximization side, which is understandable.

New value beats brand trust

In past eras, the concept of “brand trust” typically won out over innovative value. But consumers today don’t worry about trust as much as our parents and grandparents did. They enjoy doing research and deciding what product solutions are right for them. And they’re much more comfortable taking risks with their dollars and life—whether it be getting into a total stranger’s car (Uber) or inside a rocket designed by a new upstart (SpaceX).

I’m a retail architect that studies human behavior, perception, and decision-making. I’m fascinated with the intersection of where commerce and community meet.

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