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Winning over the Empowered Consumer: Why Trust Matters

A new IBM Institute for Business Value survey of more than 28,000 consumers from around the world confirms that while consumers actively discuss, critique, promote, and even dismiss your brand, they will give their loyalty only to a few select retailers. How well retailers and product brands identify the arbiters that determine what’s hot and what’s not and build trust with both individuals and communities of like-minded consumers will determine whether they benefit from a base of loyal advocates or are left with transient and fickle customers.


The proliferation of digital communications and the speed of technological innovation today have ramifications in virtually every arena, and few have felt the impact more than the retail industry. Through a lens of connectivity and collaboration – powered by mobile devices that keep them connected wherever they may be – consumers have acquired the capability to know almost everything about every product and brand. They bring attitudes and expectations about shopping, shaped by their experiences across a broad array of industries. Going forward, given the expanded depth and breadth of shopper knowledge and expectations, retailers will need to focus on building trust if they hope to gain the loyalty of these newly empowered consumers. As companies enter this new way of serving the empowered consumer they now must ask themselves not “how loyal are my customers to me,” but “how do I demonstrate my loyalty to my customers?”



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