Shopper Marketing - May 2018 - 9

PROGRAMS

MAY 2018 SHOPPER MARKETING

9

How to Win in a World Without Trust
During keynote address, Edelman executive urges brands to own their stories and take a stand

By Chris Gelbach

Schaumburg, Ill. - Drawing from Edelman's "Trust Barometer" and "Earned
Brand" studies, Jamie Kieffer painted a
picture of an environment in which trust
in institutions is at an all-time low while
expectations for brands have never been
higher.
Kieffer, managing director of client strategy for Edelman, shared his views on what
it takes for brands to win in today's environment in March during a Path to Purchase Summit keynote address. "Trust has
generally has been a zero-sum game," he
said. "After a market crash, trust in business goes down, but trust in government
rises because government steps in and
takes action. The overriding philosophy is,
as humans, we need to trust in something."
But as the latest Trust Barometer study
indicates, trust in every institutional category - including businesses, government,
the media and non-governmental organizations - has now gone down. This presents
an opportunity for brands. "People actually
trust businesses. ... People believe a major
news organization only slightly more than
a corporation giving them the facts. This
used to be 70/30, but this data has changed
incredibly over time," Kieffer said.
Kieffer offered brands three things to
do to win in a world where people are not
trusting anyone:
The first was to own your own story. In
a world where people see right through
obvious marketing content, Kieffer said it's
important for brands to tell their stories in
a rigorous, clear, understandable and accessible way. "Bring your stories out into
the world," Kieffer said. "Become your own
media company."

Second, Kieffer urged brands to engage
consumers on the consumers' terms, noting that people will believe your social media by a 2-1 margin over your advertising.
"They want to hear from you. They want
to hear from your leadership. Even more
importantly, they want to hear from your
employees," Kieffer said.
Third, Kieffer urged brands to take a
stand. He noted that in Edelman's "Earned
Brand" study, 57% of people agreed with
the statement that "the system is failing
me," and 51% of people believed brands
can do more to solve social ills than government. "The fact that half of people
would believe that is kind of crazy, right?"
Kieffer said. "It doesn't make any sense. But
in that is the opportunity."
According to the brand study, the No.
1 data point that moves people to being invested in or committed to a brand
is when the brand and consumer share
views on controversial social and political
issues. "Frankly, the data says the more
controversial, the better," Kieffer said.
But Kieffer stressed that companies can
make big mistakes when they chase issues
that don't necessarily reflect their brand.
"Don't chase issues," Kieffer said. "Find
your calling."
As an example of a stance that worked,
he cited Chobani chairman and CEO
Hamdi Ulukaya's position on immigration.
Ulukaya is a Turkish immigrant and entrepreneur who bought an old yogurt factory
in upstate New York, hired people from the
local community, paid them a living wage,
and hired a lot of immigrants.
"When immigration came up as an issue,
he had a point of view on it. He was speak-

" They want to hear from you. They want
to hear from your leadership. Even more
importantly, they want to hear from your
employees."
Jamie Kieffer, Edelman

ing on it from the values of his company
and you could agree or disagree with the
point on immigration, but you felt better
about this guy," Kieffer said. "He didn't pick
an issue and go on one side of it and lose
half his audience. He stood for his values
and knew when it was time to speak up."
Kieffer then showed a Fast Company cover featuring Ulukaya that said "Immigrant.

CEO. Billionaire." He noted that finding
your calling as a brand does not mean giving up all your profits to become a charity.
"People actually want to financially reward companies for doing the right thing,"
Kieffer said. "When was the last time you
saw billionaire as a compliment? And that,
I would suggest, is when you get things
SM
right."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Shopper Marketing - May 2018

Contents
Shopper Marketing - May 2018 - Intro
Shopper Marketing - May 2018 - 1
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