Building Brand Trust Through a Proper Approach to Data Security and Privacy 

June 30, 2021
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The process of building your brand is so much more than simply having a good product and/or service and focusing on marketing campaigns to promote it. The companies that work on their growth strategies must first take proper care of numerous technical components that comprise an underlying structure of their business. 

Among those critical components are data security and information privacy. 

These issues are no longer just a concern for the legal teams. The modern business landscape requires a cross-functional business model in which all employees and teams – from legal and IT departments to marketing and other sectors – need to clearly understand and have a highly functional approach to data security and privacy. Especially when we take into consideration that different geo-locations impose different sets of rules and regulations. 

Still, we are seeing organizations facing massive issues and fines due to data breaches, and/or non-compliance in legislation. On the other hand, we have the skyrocketing of consumer awareness and skepticism in terms of how businesses are managing and using their information and behavioral data. The standards of data collection are becoming stricter by the year, with legislations and regulations like GDPR, California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA). 

This increasingly stricter data security and privacy climate makes it that much harder for businesses to build their brand and earn trust among their consumers. Luckily, with the following simple course-correction tips and strategy tweaks, you can even use the new data security landscape to grow your brand, as well as your consumer base. 

Let’s see how. 

A Change in the Mindset Across all Departments

In order to actually perform all the tasks required for your company to achieve optimal data security and privacy strategy, there first needs to be a deep change in the employee mindset toward these notions. With the establishment of GDPR and CCPA, brands can no longer take these issues lightly. They need to realize that data privacy needs to be approached from 2 different standpoints: 

  • A compliance perspective
  • As a chance to demonstrate trustworthiness to consumers

The compliance component is often a long and tedious process that businesses simply must do in order to avoid potential legal issues and fines that could be quite damaging to resources that many companies fail to ever recover, resulting in them going under. All these processes and policies must be approached and built with solid practices that have been proven to work best. 

Once those technical issues have been taken care of, your strategy should shift toward building your brand and inducing growth. Be sure to pivot your approach to security and data privacy so you use these notions – and your company’s strong approach to security – as a tool to reassure your customers that you respect and value their data. When a consumer knows that your brand will not misuse their data or make them vulnerable to breaches and hackers, they start seeing your brand in much more positive light. 

Stay Updated With the Ever-changing Regulatory Landscape

With CPRA superseding CCPA by 2023, we suggest that your company prepares for the new set of regulations in a timely manner. Only then will this regulatory transition be a smooth and seamless journey toward full compliance. 

Another problem is law inconsistency depending on geo locations. Although data protection laws and regulations have been present for quite a while, there is still no clear international precedent on enforcement, resulting in regulations varying in different countries. In order to mitigate unnecessary legal issues and avoid huge fines, as well as a brand’s reputational damage that could lead to a negative impact on trust among the consumers, businesses should always be a couple of steps ahead of future regulatory changes and updates. This is especially true when it comes to the employee mindset and paying close attention to the way in which they collect, manage, process, and use customer-based data within the evolving regulatory climate. 

This brings us to…

Have a Firm Grasp of Data Management Best Practices 

Coming up with strong security and data privacy strategy cannot be done without a proper understanding of data. Make sure that all your teams and departments have a firm grasp of the following: 

  • how the data is collected
  • what all the types of data your manage are
  • where you store your data
  • how long certain pieces of data need to be stored
  • how to make sure all the communication channels can positively or negatively impact your data security, and so on. 

For example, you need to determine what personal data actually is. This can be an unsuspected challenge for many businesses, especially since this notion of “personal data” can change from one situation to another, from one industry to another, etc. One of the most overlooked aspects of managing data with privacy and security in mind is taking proper care of the information and data pieces that permeate all the email platforms a company and its customers are using. To prevent a potentially risky and suboptimal approach to managing email-based data, we suggest using email archiving solutions and developing email retention policies that would automate these tasks. These can help you optimize storage and data retention costs, as well as help you tackle all the regulatory compliance issues with professional expertise, allowing you to minimize the time spent on these tedious technicalities and enabling you to focus on more productive and revenue-driving workflows. 

Use All Of The Above to Build Brand Trust

It is no secret that a great majority of consumers are willing to pay extra if they know they’ll have a good experience with a certain brand. This means that, if you manage to build trust among your existing clients as well as among the potential ones within your target audience, your business will drive more revenue per client. This is why you should try to leverage your strong and transparent approach to how you handle your customer’s data. Open and sincere communication is key to achieving desired levels of : 

  • Transparency 
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability 

This is why businesses must have proper data management processes in place. How you document what types of data, and how it is being stored and where – is also extremely important as it can be reassuring to both your clients and the regulatory bodies that are overseeing your processes. Only then will your customers feel comfortable working with you, thus enhancing their digital experiences. 

Another benefit is the fact that the proper and secure data management strategy will enable your business to enhance your marketing and analytical efforts, maximizing your long-term business success. 

Wrapping Up

Building your brand and achieving high levels of trustworthiness among your consumers is definitely not a sprint but a marathon. This journey starts from the moment you land your first client and ends, well – never. 

This means that you need to constantly and consistently tweak your growth strategy with security and customer data privacy in mind. Be sure to stay up to date with all the best practices regarding data management, especially in terms of compliance with current data privacy laws. Only when all the mindsets across your organization are adequately aware of potential risks and everyone understands the often convoluted relationship between data collection, use of that data, and consumer trust, will there be sufficient room and groundwork for building a trustworthy brand that is consistently valued.

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