Editor's note: Dania Rich-Spencer and Stephan Schroeder are both vice president, automotive and mobility at Escalent. They can be reached at dania.rich-spencer@escalent.co and stephan.schroeder@escalent.co, respectively.

From basic apps to advanced software and artificial intelligence, most products and services we use today are powered by technology. As brands across all industries increasingly rely on technological capabilities to deliver offerings, trust in technology has never been more critical.

The concept of trust is difficult to unpack. It is highly complex and comprises emotional as well as rational components, making it challenging to assess. It is also abstract and consumers can struggle to articulate how a product or service gains and holds their trust, leaving businesses with limited actionable information.

Yet regardless of its elusive nature, nothing is more essential to an organization’s success than trust. It serves as the basis for building relationships between brands and people and impacts how consumers respond to new and existing offerings.

While the reputation of a brand is important in building trust with consumers, it is only one element of a larger equation. For brands to secure and maintain long-term, ongoing consumer trust, their products and services must be equally trustworthy – including the underlying technology powering any solution offered to consumers.

For example, a consumer may feel that a long-standing, reputable pharmaceutical brand is generally trustworthy yet still believe that a new product or service carries inherent risks, especially if it is an outlier among other offerings (such as the rapidly developed COVID-19 vaccines and boosters). While trust in a brand may give a new product a head start when it goes to market, trust in the product itself is ultimately key to fostering trial and adoption. This is true whether considering a highly complex...