credibility

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A few years ago, I was running a strategy workshop with the leadership team of a global medical device firm. As we explored the disruptions that were impacting their business most, one came up that I hadn't previously considered.

An audience member shared that while increased competition and demographic changes were having a significant impact, a new trend that was proving enormously disruptive to their business was how increasingly aware their customers were of price variations across different markets. “In the past,” he said, “a customer in Spain was unlikely or unable to compare the price they were paying for a medical device with that of a patient in New Zealand. That’s all changed now. Our customers do compare and it is doing significant damage to our brand’s perceived trustworthiness.”

This challenge is far from unique. Across the board, consumers are demanding more and more information regarding the products they use on a daily basis.

Trust is a non-negotiable in today’s economy. For obvious reasons, businesses that are trusted are more lucrative and more loved than their competitors. However, time has told that trusted brands also outlast their competition. Trust consistently emerges as the common denominator between the world’s longest lasting companies, proving to keep them afloat through every new fad, wave and trend.

In 2017, I had the chance to meet a speaker and author I have admired since I was a teenager. Having read many of Dr John Maxwell’s 67 bestselling books, I was excited to see what the legendary man was like in person. Speaking to him backstage at a conference, I was struck by something he said and has said many times in his various books.

“Credibility is a leader’s currency,” he suggested, “With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.”