Credibility and a monkey with a golden ring.

Still a monkey

What is credibility, why do you need it and where do you get it? Let me answer you with a question, why does most franchise businesses perform better? Credibility. Saved you the effort of doing a search and already got the definition from Google, here. The answer to that search defines credibility in 2 ways:

  • the quality of being trusted and believed in.
  • the quality of being convincing or believable.

Notice that both times the definition starts with quality. That leaves us with a couple of things to suss out: Quality, trust and believed in or being convincing or believable.

Copy that, but how does all of that apply to your business?

Starting with a difficult one, you need to add credibly to your business in a subliminal way. Even though visual experiences are very obvious and a go to for many businesses, what you need to make your business work lies beyond what you can see.

Easy… or are you thinking: what is this guy on about?

According to popular believe, we use 5 senses to create a mind map of our environment, which will be stored, and maybe used later. I don’t know if a person’s visual sense can become de-sensitized or maybe your brain gets so busy processing visual inputs that your other senses are slightly neglected, something like that.

Example: you walking through the mall, and you are bombarded with all sorts of visual advertising devices, each one trying to stand out from the rest. Okay, you there every day, then you start noticing changes only, but what happens when you walk past the coffee shop? A ha, something else there, suddenly your olfactory sense jumps to action, and you want coffee, right?

That should give you a good idea of where I am going with this. Adding your sign on top of all the other signs are putting a golden ring on a monkey, still a monkey. You need to train your monkey, teach him some tricks.

To wrap this up, you need to put yourself into your customers shoes and experience your shop in slow motion asking and answering the following questions:

  • What do I see?
  • What do I smell?
  • What do I hear?
  • What do I feel?
  • What do I taste (not always easy, or possible)

Now that you have answered that, write it down some where and go and think about it. Brainstorm what you experienced, and what you think customers want to experience when entering your business. Now we slowly creeping back to credibility. By pointing out the, not so good experiences you can easily work out how to fix them.

Will dance lessons for my monkey, pay off?

Think about it this way, how many other dancing monkeys do you see? Suddenly you top the charts for originality and authenticity which contributes to credibility. If you have a business with a dancing monkey, please send me a photo! But for every one else without monkeys and just normal businesses having to compete, how do we do it?

I am sure there are many ways to a good result, but I will go ahead and tell you how I do it, have done it and planning on carrying on doing it. Let’s take a bar as an example, and look at the products only.

You can take the bottles and stick them on a rack and pour it when the clients ask for it or you can take it a couple of steps further. I found that turning your liquor storage (shelves) into a display, make it bright and look nice, work in the eye height thing, that suddenly customers will notice if you have something different on the shelf.

Now what’s going to happen? If you set up your product displays correct, you should provoke a reaction. In this case the idea is to get clients to ask questions about the unknown or scarce or different product, and that is what you need. They are asking for engagement, you need to be ready, because if you mess it up, you will most likely end-up freaking them out, and that won’t work.

Have your answer to the question worked out beforehand. Know everything about that bottle of Absinth. When the client asks what that is, you can tell him true and interesting facts, that will not only make him think you are passionate about what you do but also keep him entertained long enough to have 3 drinks.

What are the contributing factors to this simple scenario?

As a practical application example, let’s start with the music. You want to talk, so the music cannot be too loud (this won’t work in a club) you need to get the position of the product where it will be noticed and lighting. This is difficult but you want to be able to darken areas and brighten other areas, inside your trading space, to get focus on key products.

The support to the reaction you intending to evoke must be exact and there without fail. Evoking a reaction and not engaging with a response is bad for business, it makes you look slow.

To finish of this process, you need to work through all the possible stimulants in your business, see what is missing and add it or optimize, test and try again until you get the most effective dance moves identified and implemented.

A collection of things contributing to credibility.

In the example above we managed to proof our knowledge of the product, create an engagement that boosted sales, added authenticity and sense of originality by optimizing for one of 5 senses. This basic model will give different results in different business.

How do you apply this to your website?

As established in a earlier post, the same rules that applies to your shop also applies to your website. In other words we need to look at the array of different emotions and senses you can toggle in a visitor via your website.

Going back to the opening search we looked at the keywords, quality, trust and being convincing or believable.

Quality on your website are not only measured by how your website works, responds to different devices etc. but also by the quality of your following you are building up. Here’s a popular one on social networks: buy 10 000 likes today for only 50c… You must have seen those before. Don’t fall for that trick, if you have a million followers and not one of them truly likes your product and actually buy from you, you are worse off than having one single true follower.

Worse off? yes, because the following you bought will most likely only attract more spam and search engines are picking up on this. Jip, it’s a reality you can actually be seen less by adding the wrong following. Another interesting thing to keep in mind is that the places where you need to have your site listed, use speed as a measurement as well. Going from 0 to 10 000 likes in one day is a dead giveaway, and you do not want to go there.

The conclusion?

This topic is a science in its own, and by no means did I give you a complete model of how to fine tune your credibility, but hopefully you can take away some pointers that will set you off in the right direction. Remember: You only get one chance to make a first impression.

Renier van den Berg
Working alone, providing digital services to businesses in different sectors, comes with an advantage. I get to see the similarities in businesses operating in different sectors and will gladly help you to implement the right digital strategies and applications to save money and generate more business leads.