Trust is hard to build but easy to lose

What we know from our innovation work across industries is that organisations keep customers because of trust like this.

And yet trust has eroded faster in the last five years than in the twenty-five preceding. In the consumer space, the disconnect between brands and people has eroded trust. In financial services, we have work to do to rebuild trust after the 2008 financial crisis. And our trust in government - well, I hardly need to comment.

The reality is that while you must build trust one customer at a time, you lose it wholesale and in the blink of an eye.

It’s about purpose

Our Purpose is the root of how we inspire trust with our customers,and with our people. When you get it right, purpose not only drives that ‘creation and keeping’ of customers, it defines your business model and market offer in their entirety.

For example, purpose is in the DNA of Water Source, a disruptive start-up looking to rebuild how the world delivers water infrastructure. Their purpose is to enable everyone in the world to have access to potable water.

We’ve been working with them on the strategy, business model design, economic modelling, market targeting, customer insight and physical and digital technology needed to bring this business to life.

To use a networking analogy, Water Source are pioneering ‘edge processing’ for water. The purification of any water source, at up to 12 litres a minute, happens where people need it rather than centrally – anywhere on the planet.

Thanks to a cloud-enabled IoT platform, we can carefully control the purification process. This remote connectivity is fundamental to the overall strategy and solution, and builds customer trust.

We’ve been trialling the technology in Dili, Timor-Leste, for a couple of years now. Water Source have built a social enterprise that sees local people earning a living by providing door-to-door delivery of potable water across Dili. This stuff works, and it’s safe because the IoT connectivity offers reassurance that engineers and scientists can maintain quality remotely.

Purpose is the key to building trust within your business and with your customers. Get purpose right and it will guide you. It will define your business and your business model. And it will let you react and find opportunity in our ever-changing world.