Subscription Options

December 27, 2008

A Trust Based Asset

The more you look at the marketplace, the more trust emerges as the defining factor between successful companies and their competitors. In fact, I think one of the real cutting edge concepts in this space is to build a Trust Based Asset.

So what's a trust based asset?

Glad you asked. Seth Godin  started me off thinking about this, and then I looked back over my own career, and the writing of Weiss , Maister , Burg  and Harding  - and it became very clear that there was something deeper than just a permission based asset.

A trust based asset is something that leverages the trust in your character, and the trust that you can deliver the value that a company or a client is looking for.

For example, TechCrunch is a brilliant blog. It has relevant, usually entertaining, and always new information about technology products, companies and personalities. In fact I, and several million others read through the posts at least once a month. We trust it for good information about that sort of thing.

Not only that, but we are pretty likely to click on the little ads at the side. They are related to the content and we trust the site, so we might just check them out. They generate $12,000 per month. Each square! Brilliant.

The people who subscribe to our newsletter, The Consultant, do so because they trust us to deliver information that is on topic, entertaining and hopefully, something they will be able to get value from.

I read just about everything that Kiyosaki  puts out? Why I trust him to give me great information on generating cash, and great thinking on money in general. I also read everything that Godin or Daniel Pink  writes, among others. Why? Same deal...

But it goes far, FAR, beyond books, blogs and newsletters.

Amway is a household name, and has at its core the leverage of trust. It has a model of direct selling vitamins to friends and family.  In fact, according to Hoover's, Amway has a network of around 3 million independent business owners who sell around 450 products to their families and friends...

Thats a heck of a lot of trust to be leveraging! In fact Forbes put's its earnings at $5 Billion!

All multi level marketing is about trust. Trust that you are a person of good character, representing a company of good character, and that you can deliver value. One without the other just doesn't cut it.

The Pampered Chef operates a similar model and is a Berkshire Hathaway company. The host leverages their network, through referrals or contacts, and invite them to an informal party where they pitch their products for cooking and the kitchen. Absolute brilliance, purchased by Berkshire for close to a billion dollars.

Every single mentoring program out there in consulting, marketing or whatever form of business you are in, is a trust based system. Every community out there collecting regular fees for content and membership is a trust based community.

Creating a trust based asset is possibly the most valuable thing you could do for your company right now.

Once you have many relationships all built on trust - then you have a lever large enough to move the world!