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January 04, 2010


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Marc Meyer

Paul, I'm curious but really want to know what you think the answer is to your statement-"Understand that trust is a commodity in short supply." Why do you think that is? What has caused trust to be in high demand but short supply? Great Post.

Paul Chaney

Good question Marc. Answer: Part turn of a phrase and part because I believe consumers don't offer trust in brands as readily as in times past, thanks in part to brands over-promising, but under-delivering.

Think about it. You drive through your local fast food joint and see a poster containing an image of a huge hamburger laden with all kinds of toppings. Looks good we think to ourselves. I'll try that. Yet, we know the sandwich we get in the pasteboard box is not going to look quite as alluring.

Conversely, one could make the argument that we put our trust in brands everyday. We trust that the food at said fast food joint is going to have the same flavor as the one across town or, for that matter, the one across the country. We trust that the dry cleaners is going to correctly clean and press that dress, or that the fuel we put into our cars has the purity that's advertised on the pump.

Still, I think that, thanks to the over-abundance of choice, consumers tend to hold brands to higher standards and, as said before, are more skeptical nowadays.

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