In a complex world, brands face challenges in building strong relationships and maintaining authenticity. To build and keep trust, brands must focus on an open source approach to partnerships and platforms, building direct consumer relationships through owned and influencer media and listening to their consumers.

Open Source Approach to Partnerships

Brands, marketers and agencies must put trust at the heart of everything we do. Brands must ensure that all content or conversations they are associated with align with their purpose. An open source, curated approach to partnerships helps brands find the right media and technology partners at each touchpoint within the consumer journey.

Activate the Brand, Not the Platform

Follow your consumer, not the platform or partner. Where possible, leverage owned assets to connect with consumers, helping maintain control of the brand message. Influencers can also be particularly effective in directly bringing a brand to life. At Blue 449, we often provide radio DJs with key talking points for our clients. The DJs express these messages as advertisements, but in their own authentic way, speaking to the listeners who follow them.

Feel the Pain

Social media puts a spotlight on everything, especially poor customer experiences. Don’t just listen to your customers on social media — do something about their pain. For one client, social listening data surfaced a major consumer pain point in the telecommunications industry. The client solved this challenge, increasing trust and engagement. In addition, look at what people aren’t saying on social media. What conversations may we want to spark?

Focus on Building Trust Internally

It is every brand’s job to articulate their values and principles to their employees. Evangelizing a clear “purpose” is key to reducing turnover and creating employees who advocate for your brand. It’s also our job to create a culture where people are inspired to behave creatively.

This post originally appeared in MediaVillage.

Author: Dave Ehlers, CEO, Blue 449 US and Publicis Media Canada