CMO Club Speaker Spotlights
Impact of Low Trust On Brands
Talk about timing. The day after Jarvis Cromwell delivered a presentation to CMO Club members in New York on the impact of reputation and trust on brands, the front page of the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace section featured the headline “How Boss’s Deeds Buff A Firm’s Reputation.”
The critical role of the CEO in building reputation and trust was one of the underpinnings of Cromwell’s insightful presentation, titled “Managing Brand Reputation and Building Trust in a Show Me Marketplace.”
Cromwell, a 25-year marketing veteran who has served as CMO for several large global companies, framed the discussion by telling Club attendees that organizations are currently operating in the least-trusting world in more than a century. Citing a Roper study from 2002, Cromwell pointed out that only 13% of Americans found large corporations to be trustworthy. He also cited a Gallup survey, which showed that 62% of people do not trust large companies.
The result of this declining trust among consumers, according to Cromwell, is a “show me marketplace where a company’s actions speak louder than words.”
The result of this declining trust among consumers, according to Cromwell, is a “show me marketplace where a company’s actions speak louder than words.” Because of this overall cynicism, he pointed out that customer loyalty is harder to achieve and many leading companies are turning to evidence marketing and word-of-mouth marketing as alternatives to traditional media.
In addition to the customer consequences companies are facing due to waning trust, Cromwell added that employee engagement is also getting harder to drive. He demonstrated the positive impact employee engagement and satisfaction has on overall performance by showing that the company’s featured in Fortune’s 100 Best Places To Work grew by 176% from 1998 through 2004, while the S&P 500 increased only 39% during the same period.
As principal of J-2 Consultancy, Cromwell works with several companies on mitigating the negative impacts of the low trust environment as well as building their ability to attract, retain and grow customers. He has been active member of the CMO Club since its inception.