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Unless You're in Minnesota, Trust is Important

July 16th, 2010 | Small Business | No Comments »

Minnesota is many things.  The birthplace of Bob Dylan, Prince, and Kevin McHale.  Home of the Vikings (and Brett Farve).  It is also my home state and I just returned from a 10 day visit home.  Why 10 days?  Because when you have one vacation each year you want it to last as long as possible.  And nothing seems longer than 10 days in Minnesota.

Now to my point.  When visiting the Land of 10,000 lakes, it’s striking at how accommodating and polite everyone is (whether they actually are sincere is another question and not something that really matters).  But tied into that is how trusting everyone is.  Repeatedly I noticed people leaving their computers at the Starbucks table and my parents don’t lock their doors when they are gone all day.  Trustworthiness (or at least the absence of mal-intent) seems to be part of their DNA.

This seems to extend to e-commerce.  I was quietly watching my mother shopping online.  She was looking for some odd knitting equipment (did I mention there is nothing to do in Northern Minnesota?) and she had no hesitation visiting unknown sites.  After I explained the dangers of blindly visiting sites without any security software (and this may be the reason why her computer runs slowly) she seemed shocked that anyone would be less than honest.

As with all things related to Minnesota, the awareness of online danger will spread — probably in about 3 more years.  To give you an idea of the information delay, Minnesota still seems to be getting over the grunge look (I had to tell a few folks that Soul Asylum wasn’t a “with it” band anymore).  So, unless your target market is selling deer tick spray online, promoting trust on your site should remain a top priority.

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