Branding Matters: The Trust Deficit

Starting from zero with building trust with a potential client is tough. Starting from a trust deficit is harder.

Having worked as a designer and marketer in a few fields that aren’t creative-based (such as legal), I’ve had to talk a lot over the years about why branding matters, why a law firm should have a designer or design department, why it’s important that materials are consistent and cleaned up, etc. Over time, I’ve boiled this down to a slightly-longer-than-elevator explanation: the trust deficit.

If a potential client or consumer is coming to you as an unknown quantity - say they’ve googled the service they need and found you, or an acquaintance mentions your business, or what have you - you’re starting from zero (most of the time) when building trust with your potential client. Becoming a trusted adviser on whatever service you’re providing is a key piece to a strong business relationship with the client - what will keep them coming back and what will make them recommend you to others.

Where my argument for branding and why it matters for non-creative services such as in a law firm or in food service, comes in is here: Starting from zero with building this trust is tough. Starting from a trust deficit is harder. If you’re a restaurant and you used a kid-style font, all your menus are misspelled and hard to read, your potential customer is already making subconscious assumptions and adding to that trust deficit - the probability they’ll want to stay and buy your food drops exponentially.

Good, consistent branding and design provides a strong foundation to stop that trust deficit from forming - giving you a good place to start and sell your services, build a good client relationship, and secure business.