Anjali Lai, Senior Analyst and Enza Iannopollo, Senior Analyst

Show Notes:

Trust is up for grabs today. No, it’s not disappearing; it’s just shifting. So, while public trust in some established organizations (governmental and media organizations) has declined in many areas of the world, brands and employers have a unique opportunity to gain more trust from their customers, employees, and partners.

In this episode, Senior Analysts Anjali Lai and Enza Iannopollo break down the changes in a swirling trust landscape and provide an action plan for developing a trust strategy.

As Lai explains early in the episode, a confluence of crises — the pandemic, social unrest, economic strain, exposure to climate risk, and the massive spread of misinformation about all of these things — is “putting pressure on how people trust, whom people trust, and why they choose to invest their trust in certain entities or leaders.”

Lai says in today’s market, trust is not absolute — it’s constantly changing and being redirected. While trust in government and religious organizations declines, “Trust in private enterprises, employers, and peer communities is as strong as ever,” says Lai.

Later in the episode, the analysts discuss the dual role technology has had in shaping public trust. On one side, there is an almost dystopian fear that robots and artificial intelligence will steal our jobs and invade our privacy. But on the other hand, technology provides consumers and employees increased visibility into how organizations function. “If you are claiming you are a sustainable organization, there is software out there where I can check as a consumer where you are sourcing your resources to create the materials,” Iannopollo says.

Forrester’s research has shown that trust trends vary significantly by global region. Lai says the willingness to trust government or healthcare institutions during the pandemic varied regionally based on how protocols were rolled out and other political and cultural issues in the specific region.

The episode also provides insight on how to leverage Forrester’s new list of seven trust levers to determine where to focus your efforts in building more trust among customers, employees, and partners. By tapping into that data, “We can look at which of the levers are statistically most important to driving trust [for an organization] compared with the percentage of consumers who believe that companies perform well at this,” says Lai.

To close out the episode, the analysts each provide their suggested next steps for organizations looking to develop a more cohesive strategy to capitalize on this unique moment and build more trust among customers, employees, and partners.