Technology's Tryst with Trust

Date:   Thursday , March 24, 2016

Headquartered in Mumbai, TRA is a part of the Comniscient Group. It is a Brand Intelligence and Data Insights Company that enables businesses to understand & analyze stakeholder behaviour through two globally acclaimed proprietary matrices - Brand Trust and Brand Attractiveness.

Technology is an integral part of our lives today. From the engines of the cars we drive to the software inside of our phones and laptops, technology leaves a lasting imprint in both our personal and professional lives. In such a technology-driven world, trust is key. In fact it would not be an overstatement to say that today\'s consumer is married to technology. But this marriage is not meant to last a lifetime. The slightest slippage of trust can cause a chasm in the relation, from which recovering can be quite tricky.

As we share more and more of our private information with our gadgets and personal computers in just a few clicks of the button or swipes of our finger, it becomes absolutely essential for us to have complete faith in our technology. Although trust is inherently built into the tech sector, issues such as transparency regarding the misuse of confidential and private data introduce a degree of scepticism in the sector. This is why developing and reiterating trust in the tech sector is critical. At present, every player has their own approach to winning consumer\'s trust - there is no defined formula for it. However, using TRA\'s proprietary Trust Matrix it is possible to analyse the industry\'s trust indicators collected over the past six years.

The Trust Matrix is comprised of 61 attributes that are further clubbed into ten Behaviours of Trust. One of these ten Trust behaviours is Perceived Competence which consumers seem to consistently score high for the tech sector. This can be explained by the manner in which we suppose that technology ought to work for us, and our consequent dependence on the same for our work-related problems. It is not surprising that the tech industry must always outperform on this behaviour.

Another behaviour - Non-Threatening Ambience - has also performed strongly for the tech sector. An ambience that imparts confidence to the consumer is crucial to earn his trust. It is imperative that the consumer feel that the brand that she uses will cater to her future needs and one that will always operate on humane principles. The transparency debate further highlights the importance for a tech brand to stay strong in its Non-Threatening Ambience.

The other behaviours of Trust have shown a flux in their performance over the past few years, and this flux is also seen across brands. For instance, Outward Appearance has seen a rise and fall across the years and also across brands such as Apple, Dell & HCL. It is important for tech brands to not only have an aesthetic appeal but they must also look the part and show relevance toward the trust bestowed on them.

Accepting Responsibility is a trust behaviour that has seen to fluctuate for the tech world since 2013. As quality consciousness among producers and consumers is scaling up, acceptance of responsibility in times of adversity is a demonstration of competence and fortifies trust in the brand. Consistency in terms of how they operate, and showcasing the courage to accept failure is critical in maintaining trust in the industry, and sustaining consumer\'s loyalty.

As mentioned before, there is no distinct principle for maintaining trust in the tech world, but showcasing the right types of Behaviours via the visceral experience of the brand as well as through the right communication strategies, tech brands can definitely maintain and reinforce trust.