Branding essentially tries to convince people to trust you. A customer trusting you means you can rely on him to make the right choice when he has to buy something.
After reading Seth Godin’s book Permission Marketing I saw a new approach to this.
He rates brand trust only as a low form of permission marketing. Fourth out of five to be exact. The other possible levels of permission that marketeers can attain are: personal relationship with the customer, a point system and intravenous marketing. These all involve a higher level of trust. Which not only means that they will buy your product more easily but also that it will cost you less to convince them.
Most brands, seem happy to reach the brand trust level. And they don't seem to aspire a higher level of permission. But this type of permission is hard to build up, requires a lot of repetition in media that are often expensive and it is hard to measure.
If achieved, many brands use this brand trust to push other similar products: their brand extensions. It will still take some convincing for people to give the new product a try, but the initial product created some kind of trust basics on which future sales can be built. The danger remains that if one of the brand extensions doesn’t deliver or does something with the permission that the customers find too intrusive, it will hurt the trust they have build up with a customer for the overall brand.
This trust approach looks more at the combining elements that create a brand in the consumers head. Not just a logo, tagline and a fuzzy commercial.