Trust Will Sustain Momentum in the Financial Sector

The Financial Sector Is Up. Building Trust Is Key to Keeping that MomentumEditor’s note: This is part of our Trust and Value blog series for the financial services industry. In the coming months, we’ll share our thoughts and insight into what is happening and what we are seeing in the data we are constantly updating. Subscribe to FreshMR now so you don’t miss any updates.

What a difference a year makes. At this time last year, the market was recovering after hitting the “Jamie Dimon bottom.” Financial services firms faced another year pressured by low yield, compressed margins, cost cuts and new regulations like the DOL Fiduciary rule.

As the first quarter of 2017 came to a close, stocks had helped advance the market to record highs. Rates are normalizing, and with that, slowly but surely, providing higher yield. The prospect of regulatory relief, economic growth and even tax reform are buoying the sector.

While things are looking up for the financial services sector, much of the potential positives have yet to actually be realized and, further still, they require political action, which has the endless capacity to disappoint. In addition, a number of long-term factors remain critical for financial services firms to achieve their own potential.

Trust and value are two areas where Market Strategies is spending more and more time advising clients. Neither are new topics, but the need to establish and prove trust and value has increased as these outside challenges become more acute. Not to mention, there are some unique challenges in trying to decode how to build and develop trust in a sector like wealth management that continues to lag in terms of institutional trust.

So, the big question is: How do you build and maintain brand trust quickly and efficiently in a constantly changing market that has a steep hill to climb when it comes to trust and value?

One anecdote we tell clients about trust serves as a point of departure when working to change an organization’s orientation toward trust:

When we meet someone, we grant them a certain level of trust. That level is determined by a number of factors: setting, reason for interaction and body language. If at the outset of the meeting that person says, “Trust me,” your level of trust will actually drop below the mean. However, if they say, “I trust you,” your level of trust in that person rises.

The anecdote serves as a reminder that you can’t ask for trust. You can earn it. You can build it. You can be easier to trust, but again—you can’t ask for it.

Earning trust is not an easy task, especially in the financial services industry. There are many ways to build trust, and every company is uniquely positioned to earn the trust it deserves. If this speaks to you, email me. We are in the business of helping our clients earn and build trust so that it is easier to maintain.

Read part two of this series: The Irony Behind the Perception of Value.

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This entry was posted in Brand and Messaging, Financial Services, Industry Expertise, Research Specialties and tagged by Christopher Barnes. Bookmark the permalink.
Christopher Barnes

About Christopher Barnes

Chris is managing director of the Financial Services division of Market Strategies, with a deep background in market and public opinion research. His background includes co-founding the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut where he led ongoing studies on the business climate presented to regional economists quarterly. He has led studies for many of the nation’s top companies in insurance, banking, wealth and health insurance sectors. His studies have appeared frequently in the national media, including The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times and Time cover stories. Chris earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College and a master's degree in political science with a concentration in survey research at the University of Connecticut.

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