In most cases, though, the only real solution is to avoid crossing the trust thermocline at all. It requires placing emotional engagement and trust at the heart of product strategy, and accepting that the causes of trust failures are non-linear. Businesses need to address their customers’ complaints early and not dilute the value of their product.


Should both firms experience customer drop-off, then they will no doubt hunt for immediate causes and problems they can fix to “win” those customers back. In doing so they will have fallen into that well-worn trap of seeing their engagement model as a primarily linear system, when it isn’t.

Gareth Edwards, in Breaching the Trust Thermocline