This is a 2-part series – this post focuses on the founding of TREW and the importance of building trust, and the 2nd post will follow with examples of companies who are committed to building trust and the outstanding results they've delivered.
We get asked often about the founding of the TREW Marketing name and approach, so we thought we'd share the story. As we began the more serious discussions about starting our marketing firm – vs. just the "one day we're going to…" happy hour banter – we kept coming back to two core values at the heart of driving results and differentiating ourselves: trust and authenticity.
While marketing practices continually change and provide new ways to drive awareness and efficiency– from e-mail marketing in the 90's to social marketing today – people are still people. And if they don't trust you, your company, or your spokespeople, or if they believe you say one thing but do another, no marketing program is going to change that.
Trust, just as with friendships or professional relationships, is built through consistent and constant communication and interaction over the long-term with all your stakeholders – employees and customers, donors and volunteers, partners and suppliers. So if it's so straightforward, why did we at TREW see it as not only a core value, but a differentiator? Because we have seen marketer after marketer advise flash-in-the-pan programs with no long-term, comprehensive view that takes into account how all stakeholders are affected. In the end, this approach is not only unsustainable, but can actually threaten your company's trust and credibility in the marketplace, and as a result, your organizational performance, from sales to fundraising to employee productivity and turnover.
Jack and Suzy Welch talked about trust and effective leadership in their October 27, 2008 WelchWay article, Trust in a Time of Turmoil in BusinessWeek, "Trust is the very foundation of effective leadership; it's the grease of change…The more authentic a leader shows himself to be, the stronger the connections. Authenticity feeds trust."
We believe this holds equally true to companies and organizations – large or small. We couldn't say it any better, except we like to spell it a little funny to work in the "W" in one of the founder's initials! True or TREW – in the end, it's all about building trust to drive results.