Practicing sincerity and honesty in your professional endeavors

“If the only prayer you said in your life was ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice.”  —Meister Eckhart (1260-1328)

2020 has been weird. For nearly a year, the pandemic has kept people mostly sheltered in their homes. Companies have gone out of business while Amazon’s value climbed to 1.5 trillion dollars, and mobile apps have become substitutes for trips to grocery stores and restaurants.

In the United States, millions of people marched for equality, millions of people voted, and millions of people quietly slipped into poverty. As the sun rises on a mostly-remote Thanksgiving Day, many of us find ourselves in front of computer screens missing our loved ones. Yes, 2020 has been weird, it has been tough, and everybody is feeling it.

We miss being able to see one another—Nutshell lunch November 2019

Now more than ever

“The show must go on,” as they say, and people are still clocking in every day, finding new ways to stay afloat despite the current circumstances. But the playing field has changed, and brands and consumers are adjusting their habits.

Some of us at Nutshell helped start a volunteer covid relief project called A2 Helps, and were amazed with the community engagement. “It seems like everyone wants to talk to us,” remarked our teammate Austin. “Like, give them a valid reason to engage with us and they will.” Insights like this are particularly compelling to marketers.

The A2 Helps volunteers

Much of the engagement was situational, with us being a volunteer organization, but a lot of the engagement was due to the honest and straightforward nature of our communications.

Simple acknowledgments like “hey, I’m sorry, we’re goin’ through the same stuff” got us so much further in building relationships than any formal, professional-sounding communication ever could have.

On this note, most marketers know that digital natives (or “millennials”) are notoriously selective when choosing brands, and strongly prefer to do business with brands that they trust.

The theory goes that, since these people are always connected, always on social media, and always seeing branding and advertisements, they are acutely aware of the brand ecosphere and only choose to do business with the genuine, reputable ones.

The twist is that almost everyone is a digital native now. For better or for worse, lockdowns and quarantines have rendered almost everything remote-only, including working and shopping.

So what can brands do to earn their audiences’ trust in this unprecedented digital age?

Give them a valid reason to engage with you, and they will.

Austin Psychas How brands can be genuine with their audiences

At Nutshell, our customers are our greatest asset, and we do everything we can to support them, including offering a public resource portal, unlimited free phone support, and even, on occasion, free SEO advice from Ben Goldstein.

Most of our beloved customer success team

Every brand has its own philosophy, but at the end of the day, the companies that are successful are the ones that are sincere. Ingenuine strategies simply don’t pay off anymore.

According to a study on brand loyalty, some of the top reasons consumers trust specific brands are:

The brand treats its consumers well The brand quickly addresses customer service problems The brand protects the privacy and security of its customers The brand treats its employees well No

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