In times of inflation and economic uncertainty, customer expectations of brands increase. Brands that acknowledge inflation’s effects on business show vulnerability, which, when perceived as genuine, can build customer loyalty. Conversely, brands that fail to be transparent, will lose trust. The author recommends five strategies for companies to maintain consumer trust during these periods: 1) If you have to increase pricing, tell customers why, 2) practice value-oriented marketing, 3) offer customer-centric pricing strategies, 4) enhance your customer support and communication, and 5) prioritize long-term relationships.
Building trust with customers is challenging. Today’s wealth disparities, coupled with the rise of inflation in the last few years, make trust-building even harder. According to new research by Catalyst, there has been an 8% rise since 2022 in consumers blaming corporate greed for the state of inflation. However, this phenomenon is nuanced, as the inflationary trend also reflects broader economic shifts during the pandemic, where existing corporate power influenced pricing amid disrupted supply chains and changed consumer demands.