Say It Again: Brand Repetition & Trust in Direct Selling
One of the unique qualities that makes direct selling so different from other industries is the importance of trust. You need to trust that Amazon is going to deliver the products that you purchase online—if you didn’t, you’d never buy anything from them. And, whether you work a 9-5 office gig or freelance for a living, you need to trust that your employer will pay you for your work. But direct selling requires a different kind of trust. By the very nature of this industry, the corporate entity is one step removed. Whether you’re a direct selling distributor or consumer, you’re interacting primarily with other individuals: your sponsor, your team leader, your host, your representative—all of them. If you don’t trust them, direct selling just doesn’t work.Without trust, #directselling just doesn't work. Click To Tweet
That doesn’t mean that distributors and consumers don’t need to trust the direct selling company. In reality, this model makes trusting the corporate entity all the more important. It’s true that distributors and their customers are doing business with independent representatives, but it’s the back office processes of the direct selling company that keep things running smoothly. If something goes wrong—an order doesn’t arrive, or a commission payment comes up short—they need to know that the company is going to handle it.
You already know how to build trust in all the conventional ways: you need to offer quality products at great prices; you need to fulfill all of your orders on time; you need to deliver commission payments quickly, efficiently, and affordably. But what about some unconventional ways of building trust? How can you further boost your brand’s credibility with distributors, customers, and prospects?
Building Credibility Through Repetition
I don’t have to tell you how important marketing is in shaping perception of your company. Effective marketing does more than just communicate the benefits of your product—it helps establish a relationship between your audience and your brand. Depending on the perception you’re trying to create, people might come to associate your brand with quality, innovation, or social responsibility. Likewise, these marketing efforts can have a tangible impact on the level of trust consumers and distributors place in your brand.Believe it or not, just repeating yourself can impact your brand's perceived credibility. Click To Tweet
Companies will often highlight past successes and achievements to establish trust, or provide testimonials from other customers who’ve had a positive experience. What I want to focus on here is the value of repetition in marketing. Believe it or not, simply repeating yourself can have a dramatic impact on your brand’s perceived credibility.
Repetition = Familiarity = Trust
There’s some science involved here. Time and again, studies have found that individuals are more likely to trust a statement when they’ve been exposed to it before. This tendency even has a name: the illusory truth effect. While the implication here is that people can be led to believe untruths—which is absolutely not what I’m advocating—the effect can also lead people to believe actual truths more strongly. What’s more, the effect has been found to compound: each time a person hears a statement, they become more inclined to designate it as truthful.
Bottom line? Repetition increases familiarity, and familiarity increases trust.
In marketing, we can be hesitant to use the same message too frequently. It starts to feel tired, and we worry that we’re boring our customers. Changing our message every so often feels like the right thing to do: we want to keep up with what our competitors are saying, or we’re offering a new product or service, or we’d like for our message to reflect our new corporate direction. The trouble is that we often abandon messages before they’ve had a chance to really influence perception of our brand.Use repetition to foster trust in your #directselling company. Click To Tweet
Instead of coming up with new marketing messaging every three months, direct selling companies would be better served strategically choosing the brand perception they want to instill, creating messaging around it, and repeating it until it makes them sick. Repeat it often, and repeat it everywhere. Typically, it’s only after we’re exhausted with a message that it begins to resonate with our audience.
Brand, Brand, Brand
This principle applies to all elements of your brand. Everything you touch should have your mark on it. That means branded website, branded social media accounts, branded mobile apps, branded commission payments—everything. The more often distributors and consumers encounter your brand, the more familiar it will become, and the more credible it will be perceived to be. And in direct selling, that trust in your brand isn’t just desirable; it’s an absolute necessity.
Of course, new technologies are fundamentally changing how direct selling companies market themselves to distributors, prospects, and consumers. Check out our guide—Harnessing the Digital Revolution: 9 Questions for Direct Selling Companies in the New Economy—for more digital marketing and social media strategies from Hyperwallet’s direct selling experts.