How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap

Margot Bloomstein

In today’s economy, marketers need a new strategy to earn trust, act with transparency, and help consumers and citizens make confident decisions. But undermining confidence is cynicism: it erodes trust in the media, government, public institutions, and consumer brands. To regain the trust of consumers and citizens, marketers talk about empathy and authenticity. But how do you get beyond those buzzwords? Give more control to your audience—and they’ll put more trust in you.

It might be a scary proposition, but trading control for confidence fuels a surprising range of high-performing organizations. Airbnb, Zoom, the FBI, TED, the UK’s Government Digital Service, the New York Times, America’s Test Kitchen, local election commissions, and other organizations have all embraced strategies of content and design that transform their audiences into empowered decision-makers. Smart organizations teach their audiences to evaluate product options, engage in continuous self-education, and make more informed choices.

Examining what works among these teams of all stripes and sizes, content strategy expert Margot Bloomstein casts a broad net to capture the experiences of copywriters, designers, creative directors, and CMOs—people who work to build trust through imagery, editorial style, storytelling, and retail design.

In an actionable framework focused on voice, volume, and vulnerability, Trustworthy will teach you how to employ concrete tactics to help your brand regain trust, respect, and customer loyalty. Lead your organization and audience from cynicism toward something far more productive: hope.


“Practical, generous, and filled with wisdom, this book can unlock your path to becoming trusted.”

“Whether you’re building a new brand or overhauling your marketing, this practical and motivating guide will help you along the way. Margot Bloomstein offers a visionary perspective on building trust with your audience at a time when that trust is in short supply.”

“At long last, someone has exposed the truth about brands! Margot Bloomstein deftly reveals how branding must go beyond the infinite power grab for profits and begin to behave bravely in order to improve the world. In smart, elegant prose, Bloomstein explores how the responsibility of the corporation has evolved, and what it takes to create genuine trust between citizens and the companies they invite into their lives.”

“We live in a time where cynicism reigns. This book shines a light for those who want to build companies and brands that are honest, optimistic, enduring, and able to contribute real value to the world.”


Trustworthy brings together a cornucopia of real-life case studies and presents concrete examples of how to beat cynicism and build trust. It should be required reading for anyone interested in building a deeper, lasting rapport with their customers or audience.”

“Compassionate experience design sits squarely at the intersection of vulnerability, candor, and humility, and Trustworthy deftly delivers the roadmap to get you there.”


Margot Bloomstein is one of the leading voices in the content strategy industry. She is the author of Content Strategy at Work and the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy. As a speaker and strategic advisor, she has worked with marketing teams in a range of the world’s leading brands. The creator of BrandSort, she developed the popular message architecture–driven approach to content strategy. Bloomstein teaches in the content strategy graduate program at FH Joanneum University in Graz, Austria, and lectures around the world about brand-driven content strategy and designing for trust.

ISBN 978-1-989603-92-5
$29.95 CAD $24.95 USD
Published March 2, 2021
5.5 × 8.5 264 Pages
Hardcover, ebook