Many business owners spend a formidable amount of money on their ‘brand’ without really considering what it is that customers look for in a brand and what attracts them to brands in the first place. Brand is not about a fancy logo or a self idealised and professed sense of what the business is about. In today’s online marketing world, brand is about what consumers perceive a business to be and they are looking for transparency and trust. The biggest factor driving that is online reviews.

I have a lot of conversations with business owners and tradespeople that are either just starting out or have been trading for a few months and they tell me the things they are doing to try and get work and to attract new customers and they are all generally counterproductive. Why? because they fail to take into account what it is that their prospective customers are actually looking for. Instead they will pay thousands of dollars to have a snappy logo designed and a website made and they will grudgingly tell me that so far that hasn’t realised the benefits they were banking on. Well, of course they haven’t and they won’t, not merely by themselves.

“Brand is about telling the truth about your company and remaining steadfast in that truth, no matter what. Potential customers are attracted by honesty, but it’s trust that makes them loyal to your brand. In fact, 95% of consumers base their loyalty on trust.” (Source: “3 Ways Online Visibility Can Make Or Break Your Brand Trust,” John Hall, Forbes, August 1, 2021).

That 95% is made up of the consumers that actively seek online reviews before even contemplating contacting a business or a tradesperson. Those reviews are the essential key in connecting with consumer desire for transparency to actualise their sense of trust. Without those online reviews, all the thousands spent promoting a ‘brand’ is little more than a huge waste of effort and money.

“Nothing sells products better than happy customers. If yours are pleased, don’t hide your light under a bushel. Spread the word far and wide. “(Source: “3 Ways Online Visibility Can Make Or Break Your Brand Trust,” John Hall, Forbes, August 1, 2021).

So to those tradespeople and business owners who ask me how to attract customers and to build their businesses, I reply that the opinions of their customers will do it and they need to be patient as they accumulate reviews. It’s that simple. Reviews, reviews, reviews. That process is of far greater value than traditional marketing and advertising means that are mere trumpet blowing.

Trust has always been a byword for practically every exchange and in today’s online marketplace it is everything. Trust gives potential consumers the peace-of-mind they require and it is the overriding element between success and failure.

At NoCowboys we provide a platform and services that tick all the boxes for consumers, tradespeople and business owners – trust, visibility and transparency. So even if your business is starting out, look to reviews before a website or a design portfolio. Turnover is what keeps a business afloat and that is generated by customers – so giving them what they want from the get-go makes perfect sense.