We should all be so lucky to have the brand loyalty that Coca-Cola, Apple, Nike, Harley-Davidson and Jack Daniels enjoy.

But those iconic brands weren’t great immediately – they had to build relationships with their customers and establish themselves as trusted, reliable brands.

The bad news? There’s no magic formula for building a world-class brand. The good news is there are proven steps you can take to help get your company’s brand on the path from good to great. Here are a few key takeaways to consider when building trust in your brand.

Be Consistent

First, be consistent in your messaging and your quality. Know exactly what your message is, and exactly who your target audience is. Be sure your product is high-quality and reliable. People are emotional buyers, but they don’t want to be lured in with clever marketing and a shiny web site on the front end, only to be disappointed on the back end with a shoddy product. Once you know what your message is and who you’re going after, be consistent in your brand guidelines and themes. Test different concepts rigorously, pick something that resonates, and stick to it.

Be Honest

Second, be transparent and honest in what you’re promising and what you can deliver. Build a content strategy that performs effectively across multiple platforms. The first interaction many customers have with you will be on your website. Make sure your content is compelling, relevant and honest. Cite credible sources, even if they aren’t directly related to your industry. A study by the Content Marketing Institute shows that most decision makers don’t have a preference about where the information comes from, as long as it’s credible. Google’s “E-A-T” algorithm, which evaluates the characteristics of high-quality content, looks for content that displays a high level of expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (E-A-T).

Be Accessible

Third, connect with your customers. Just like the three magic real estate words “location, location, location,” the three magic words for customer loyalty are “communicate, communicate, communicate.” Make sure you’re truly accessible – don’t set up a chat function on your website that operates on a sporadic basis, or doesn’t have enough back-end support. Be specific in your customer support answers – don’t rely on rote answers to simple questions. Take the time to actually understand your customers’ problems. Be available on social media, and be timely in those responses. If you have a particularly good example of how you helped a customer, use that as content. Collect testimonials from real people whenever possible, and use those to generate future loyal customers. Real reviews by real people are critical when establishing trust in your brand.

Be Something They Want To Believe In

Fourth, make customers believe in your value for long-term loyalty. If you do a good job in  being consistent in your message and quality, being honest about what you’re offering, and communicating with your customers, you will make believers out of even the most skeptical client. Once you establish this trust in your brand, you’ll have the freedom and insight to develop future products and services that resonate with your customers. If you can establish yourself as the go-to company in your particular niche, then you’ll be on your way to being the next Coca-Cola in no time. (Just think carefully before you introduce new Coke.)

If you would like some help crafting your brand story so you can build loyalty among your customer base, just reach out any time. We’re here to help.