By Allison Beadle, Founder & CEO of Wild Hive
I always like to level-set with some definitions, so let’s do just that. What is credibility?
-The quality of being trusted or believed in
-The quality of being convincing or believable
-The quality or power of inspiring belief
So according to these definitions, “credibility” is a quality. That’s great. I think we can all agree that “credibility” is a quality we want to embody—we want to be believable because belief is the catalyst for trust and trust is the catalyst for loyalty. Belief, trust, and loyalty are the critical and irreplaceable elements of strong relationships. And relationships will make or break marketing.
But it all starts with “credibility.” So, let’s take this exercise a bit deeper.
We can trace the origin of the word “credibility” to the Latin credibilis, which means “worthy of belief.” Note the word “worthy”—this is why it’s important to go deeper when we’re talking about the meaning of things. Credibility is a quality bestowed upon a person, a business, a brand, an organization, etc. if an only if the subject at hand is worthy of credibility.
So, how do we know if we’re worthy of credibility? Here’s a check list. Your potential answers: yes, no, sometimes, or I don’t know.
-Are the claims made by your brand, company, organization, or you personally backed by reputable data? Reputable data = data gathered and analyzed using industry-accepted techniques.
-Have you published your data for peer review (either in a peer-reviewed journal or professional conference setting)?
-Has your data been validated by a third party?
-Do you share your data with your audiences (consumers, professionals, retailers, industry members, media, etc.)?
-Is your brand telling the truth, 100%, in everything it does and says at all times?
-Can you back up everything you are doing and saying with reputable data?
If you answered “yes” to each of these questions, your credibility worthiness is likely in excellent shape, and you can be positioned as the expert, the resource, the go-to in your area of specialty.
If you answered “no,” “sometimes,” or “I don’t know” to any of these questions, your credibility worthiness is in question. And when it comes to credibility, you don’t want to say, “we’re not worthy!” However, you are now in a position of knowledge to do something about this. Let’s get a plan in place.