Trust in Expertise

Trust in Expertise 1920 1065 Chute Gerdeman

We see a major shift in how consumers determine which brands to trust. According to a new EY study, consumers respond strongly to purposeful brands, with 62% saying they would be more likely to purchase from companies that they feel are doing good for society. And 29% would pay a premium for brands that contribute to the community. (EY, 2020)

It’s no longer about the product that is offered. Brands must stand for something, have a purpose, and share their expertise with consumers.

Over the years, the Sharing Economy has been a powerful economic model where consumers look to build a better world. But with recent events, we believe “sharing” is evolving to include “sharing of expertise” and will have a large role to play in the relationship between brand and consumer. Brands will utilize experts more and more to educate consumers on how to take care of products, to make them last, learn something new, and offer-up knowledge that they can’t get anywhere else. Building on the brand promise through expertise is the way forward.


Sharing brand expertise and knowledge transcends channel and will need to become on-demand and instantly connected. Brands will employ true experts that are available to answer all consumer questions—in-store, via social media, and online. Consumers need be able to connect directly with store/brand associates when they need answers, are seeking advice, and looking for inspiration. It’s time for brands to stretch their creative communication muscles and explore connections outside of the typical social media channels by venturing into new networks like TikTok and WhatsUp. It’s been reported that 82% of Gen Z increased use of smartphones during social distancing orders globally (GWI, 2020). Brands have the opportunity to offer up purposeful and unique content through social media networks that connect directly with these consumers.

Brands are getting creative with their on-demand reach. Bobbi Brown, Estée Lauder’s make-up darling, live streams weekly make-up topics on their Instagram Stories. They get their network involved and take content requests so they can tackle topics that are most of interest.


The key will be for brands to offer truly meaningful content—that special sauce only your brand can offer. This content could be tips and tricks for consumers that align with new established values, help users to become more self-sufficient, educate on product longevity, and provide added value in everyday life. A peak inside and behind the brand curtain will provide a new connection of useful information and a learning culture that consumers are seeking. It will also be important to simplify brand messaging. Authenticity cannot be contrived otherwise consumers will lose trust. Share the brand benefits without overtly complicated brand sentiments.

Travel and hospitality disrupter, AirBnB, has been hit hard with the effects of COVID-19. With travel and vacations on hold, AirBnB has shifted their content strategy. Their new Online Experiences, bring consumers video content from all over the world. Enjoy a wine tasting with a Sommier, take a college class with a Barcelona artist, or enjoy a jazz club happy hour, there’s something for everyone with AirBnB’s new content.


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62% of consumers say they would be more likely to purchase from companies that they feel are doing good for society. 

-EY 2020 Study

Build the Brand Community

Through the sharing of knowledge, consumers will begin to develop new tribes that align with their post COVID-19 ideals. There’s opportunity in developing new connection points for brands to create a true sense of community. Brands need to get involved and create space for such knowledge seekers. Brands can also gain trust by bringing consumers into the creative process, with 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a brand if they incorporated their feedback on future products or ideas into their process (MakerSights, 2019). We envision in-store experiences that go beyond classes and workshops, but provide for product co-creation and development.

Repair cafés and Maker Day environments have been all the rage in recent years and we see this blending even more with IRL retail. The Makers Guild, is an immersive shopping destination that brings together design studios and retail. Shoppers can see artists at work, take part in creation of custom designs, and enjoy a rotation of content visit after visit.

More from the Preparing for Next series

Shopping Goes Automatic

There’s an argument to be made when considering the effects that the global pandemic has had on the retail sector.  That argument is that it moved retailers back to being singularly focused on getting consumers the products they need in the easiest, fastest, and safest possible manner.

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