Trust - Too Important to Dismiss
In another article, I have talked a bit about good and accurate communication and how important that is. It seems obvious to most of us and when we think about it, we don't want to be confused; we want to understand clearly. Assuming that this has been achieved, and there is no ambiguity in communication, then daily interactions in our life become all about trust. Here I will present some of my recent thoughts on trust and advertising and how it might affect a positive change in our lives.
You Can't Buy It
A company cannot buy trust. It may buy another company that is trusted, and benefit from that. However, to be trusted, one must build on a history of "good" decisions and directions that are seen not purely as a commercial venture but as a true benefit to humankind.
Can You Trust the Internet?
The Internet provides essentially a limitless pool of information, experiences, and snapshots of life. Many search the Internet to research products or services that they are interested in or wish to acquire. If one cannot trust the information that is being provided, then finding that information or being exposed to this information has been essentially a waste of time, or even worse, may have mislead the consumer with false information. Time is our most precious resource. Some of us will have more time than others but I'm sure that most people don't want to waste their time. If you are researching and happen across something that is relevant to your interests, you may unknowingly accept what is being provided as the truth, when in fact, it may be incorrect or misleading. To trust everything to which we are exposed, is to expose oneself to abuse.
It's Not Like That Anymore
I was a youth in the sixties, and grew up with the notion that everyone was basically a "good" person and could be trusted. Fortunately or unfortunately, my eyes have been opened very wide in the last few decades. Trust is a rare commodity. By that, I don't mean trust that someone is not lying to you but trust that they have your best interests in mind as well.
There Is Hope For Businesses
Those companies that approach the "customer" or "client" with this prime directive will do better than those that don't. With trust, in time, respect naturally follows. What company doesn't want to be respected? There are many good examples of these types of companies today. Unfortunately, there are so many companies that are either unknown or not trustworthy that want to sell us something. Much is still to be gained by forging "ahead" in this direction to acquire the consumer's trustand eventually their respect. This is not something that happens in a year or two although there are examples of this, too.
From an individual's point of view, we would all like our opinions to be respected. So it is then, that we must expect no less of ourselves than that which we demand from the companies and organizations with which we interact. We must all strive to tell the truth as best we know it, communicate clearly and not mislead our audience to do something that we can't feel good about.
A salesman who believes his product provides a true benefit to humankind has little difficulty in meeting these guidelines and will likely be a successful salesman. This may be said in a similar way by "The product sells itself". But the belief in the product or service must be supported by truthful knowledge about the product from all "angles", not by hype, but by a realistic expectation that the product will not fit everyone's picture of their life, and by hope that the product has an overall benefit to society. This does sound idealistic but it is the guideline that we must all consider if we are to ensure a progressive world without end. We must build a society not based on consumption but on renewal and cohabitation with all things non-human.