We don’t always think of it in these terms but one of the best ways we can promote our businesses is by behaving well.
Remember, people do business based on several things. One is, they trust that we will work to help them meet their needs, as they related to our product or service. Two is they believe our service or product can help them get what they want.
But the whole process starts with trust.
If they don’t trust us, it’s much harder for them to believe we can and will help them.
In recent years we’ve heard a lot about people and companies that failed the trust test.
Enron. Worldcom. Ken Lay.
Of course there are hundreds (even thousands) of others that violate people’s trust every day.
But there are many, many more people and companies that pass the trust test every day.
A recent example is PepsiCo.
Earlier this year they got a call from someone wanting to sell them inside secrets about their chief rival, Coca-Cola Co.
Rather than take the bait, they called Coca-Cola Co. and gave them all the information about the call. As a result, the bad guys were arrested by the FBI. More importantly though, fairness and honesty won the day, even between two of the world’s largest and fiercest business competitors.
As the PepsiCo spokesman Dave DeCecco said:
“Competition can sometimes be fierce, but also must be fair and legal,”
A flurry of media stories resulted from the incident. I think it’s fair to say PepsiCo got some good publicity.
It gave people one more reason to believe Pepsi is a brand they can trust.
Do you think this affects the value of Pepsi as a brand?
I think it does.
Do you think this creates some goodwill between Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo?
Again, I think it does.
It sends a strong message that they’ll play fair with each other. They can trust each other.
They’ll still compete. But they’ll do so on product and marketing and pricing and in other ways that are fair, ethical and legal. They’ll compete by serving their customers the best they can, rather than focusing on winning at all costs.
This sounds like a pretty good formula.
1. Show people they can trust you (by behaving well).
2. Focus on serving your customers (rather than bashing your competitors).
Do these well and you’ll attract and keep more customers.
That’s what I call Smart Marketing!