Every business wants to be trusted—but some are better at gaining trust than others.
It helps, of course, to be an established brand with a long history, such as Microsoft or Pepsi. But what if you're a newer company competing against bigger players, or are working to build your reputation in a field where there is an especially high premium on trust, such as healthcare or financial services?
Obviously, we're big believers in the power of trust signals to build brand trust. This includes creating a brand promise that resonates with target audiences and then showing that you deliver on that promise through a "Grow With TRUST" program that encompasses third-party validation, reputation management, user experience, search presence and thought leadership.
But some businesses go even further. They include the word "trust" in their brand name.
Is this a good idea? It depends.
Staking Your Claim vs. Standing Apart
I view it similarly to using the color blue in a logo. Blue is the color of trust. That's a big reason why it is the most common color used in brand logos.
Making blue the dominant color in your logo is staking a claim in brand trust. But branding is not just about proving you're trustworthy; it's also about standing apart.
As Scott Baradell, the editor of Trust Signals, has explained in the context of logo colors:
With trust being so important to buyers, and buyers associating trust with the color blue, does that mean it's always wise to include blue in your brand's logo? Definitely not.
First and foremost, your company's branding should help set you apart from the competition. If every competitor in your space has a blue logo, having blue as the dominant color in your logo will make it that much harder for you to stand out.
At my agency, Idea Grove, we work with many midsize B2B tech clients in highly competitive markets, where our clients must fight tooth and nail for their share of attention -- and customers -- while facing much larger players. We recently completed a visual branding project where the logo we created has purple and black as its dominant colors. The purple communicates imagination and luxury, while the black grounds the logo in authority. This combination was perfect for a brand that wanted to communicate creativity while being taken seriously by its Fortune 500 clients.
The client's logo inspires trust by reinforcing the qualities that set it apart. It's a subconscious trust signal that the company backs up its words with its actions.
When Trust Is Your Product
Probably the best case to make for having "trust" in a brand name is when the business not only wants to be trusted, but also promises to make its customers or clients more trusted.
TrustedSite, for example, offers privacy and security trustmarks for e-commerce companies. Obviously, TrustedSite wants to be trusted by its customers—but it is also telling online merchants that they will be more trusted by shoppers if they add a TrustedSite seal to their store.
Beyond brands that are in the business of conferring trust, companies in Google's "your money or your life" categories—money & finance and health & medical—are where you are most likely to find businesses that use "trust" in their names.
Pros and Cons of Having "Trust" in Your Name
Some positives of having a brand that explicitly calls out trust are:
- It associates your brand with trust, which is the first and most important step to business growth;
- It holds you accountable to customers to deliver on your promise through transparency, competency and reliability; and
- It lends an immediate sense of credibility to newer brands that are fighting the 800-pound gorillas in their space;
But the flip side of the coin are the potential negatives:
- In industries where trust is particularly important, the word can be overused;
- More than a few companies have put "trust" in their names to cover for less-than-trustworthy business practices (Google "Trusty" and "scam" and see how many BBB complaints pop up); and
- If you promise trust and don't deliver, the backlash for your brand will be twice as harsh.
16 "Trust" Brand Examples
Search online directories and you'll find hundreds of examples of companies using the word "trust," or a variation such as "trusted" or "trusty," in their names. Here is a sampling of them. (Of course, we left out banks and other institutions that include "trust" in their names because of its financial definition.)
- TrustedSite. TrustedSite helps businesses secure their customer data and earn trust with their website visitors. For security professionals, the company offers TrustedSite Security, a complete attack surface management solution. With services like firewall monitoring, website monitoring and application scanning, TrustedSite helps customers see their business like an attacker would, so they can stay a step ahead. For e-commerce business owners and marketers, TrustedSite offers TrustedSite Certification, a suite of tools and trustmarks to increase trust and grow sales.
- TrustRadius. TrustRadius is among the most trusted review sites for business technology. Optimized for content quality and data integrity, TrustRadius help buyers make better product decisions based on unbiased and insightful reviews. The company also help vendors harness and scale the authentic voice of their customers.
- Trustmary. Quickly growing businesses use Trustmary to gather video and written customer testimonials, highlight them on their website and generate more leads. The company helps brands to find their best testimonials and measure how well they generate more leads.
- Trust Enablement. My friend John Moore is the founder of Trust Enablement, a private community where sales enablement professionals across the globe connect and collaborate while growing their skills and taking charge of their careers.
- TrustArc. Formerly TRUSTe and still best known for the TRUSTe privacy seal, TrustArc automates and simplifies the creation of end-to-end privacy management programs for global organizations. TrustArc delivers privacy intelligence and platform automation to better manage the growing number of online privacy regulations. TrustArc helps customers demonstrate compliance, minimize risk, and build trust.
- TrustGuard. TrustGuard is a Utah-based website security and trust seal company and a subsidiary of Trust Brands, which also includes Shopper Approved, LocalReviews.com and Cart Rocket, a portfolio of "trust-building tools" for third-party social proof and online security.
- TrustPulse. A subsidiary of OptinMonster, TrustPulse offers social proof on your e-commerce website by showing the real-time actions of other visitors on your site, such as purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. This produces a bandwagon effect that can increase conversions and sales by increasing website trust.
- Trustpilot. Trustpilot is a customer review site founded in Denmark in 2007 that today receives nearly 1 million new reviews each month across dozens of business categories. Trustpilot hosts more than 120 million consumer reviews of websites and companies worldwide and is ranked among the top 1% of global websites in traffic.
- Trust Collective. An NYC-based PR and marketing boutique founded 15 years ago by Adam Fine, Trust Collective has the tagline "Trust is everything." And while Idea Grove doesn't have trust in our name, we certainly agree.
- Trust Relations. Trust Relations is a PR agency that also focuses on a trust-centered message. As agency founder April Margulies puts it, "Public relations is the past. Trust relations is the future." Margulies and colleague Laura Schooler are also known for their PR Wine Down podcast, which promises to "kick down the door on today's PR industry."
- Trusted Health. Trusted Health focuses on recruiting and placing travel nurses in a field that hasn't always had the best reputation. Trusted takes this on directly, promising nurses: "Trusted puts nurses in control of their career. We’ve ditched the commissioned recruiters, ambiguous pay, and old school… everything. Trusted makes it easy for nurses to navigate the job search process and manage their careers with confidence."
- Trusted Medical. Trusted Medical Centers offers a line of full-service, concierge-level acute hospitals and freestanding emergency rooms. They promise patients—whom Trusted Medical calls "guests"—"the absolute best healthcare visit they have ever experienced." That's a big promise, which means trust could be lost quickly if they fail to deliver on it. Trusted Medical is based in Hurst, Texas, with locations across the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
- Trust Wallet. Trust Wallet calls itself "the most trusted and secure crypto wallet." Currently used by more than 10 million people, the app must overcome public concerns about the risks of cryptocurrency to continue to grow. With anything as new and different as crypto, many potential users will require a high degree of reassurance before dipping their toes in the water. That's what Trust Wallet tries to provide with its brand and messaging.
- Trust Payments. Another financial brand, Trust Payments is a London-based fintech company that offers "global pay-in, pay-out and customer journey technologies" for its B2B user base. The payment platform has more than 20,000 customers worldwide. Its novelty and international scope puts trust at a premium for prospective customers.
- Trusted Choice. Also fitting into the "your money or your life" category is Minneapolis-based Trusted Choice, an independent insurance agency that gathers quotes from up to 55 insurance providers to find the best offers. Users who find Trusted Choice online must have confidence in the quality and legitimacy of the quotes and providers the company recommends.
We know some of the above companies well, but don't know others at all, so you'll have to do your own research before doing business with them.
Or in the words of the Russian proverb: Trust, but verify.
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