Brand trust ranks as one of the top considerations when it comes to product purchases, yet brands are largely failing to inspire trust among consumers.
This is according to the Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 Special Report: In Brands We Trust?, released today (18 June). The Edelman Trust Barometer is the PR firm's annual trust and credibility survey.
The report shows that brand trust ranks among the top five buying considerations, with 81% of respondents naming this after quality (85%), convenience (84%), value (84%) and ingredients (82%).
Yet only a third of those surveyed (34%) said they trusted most of the brands they bought from. Two-thirds of respondents agreed that a good reputation might get them to try a product, but they would soon stop buying it unless they trusted the company behind the brand.
More than half of respondents (53%) said that every brand had a responsibility to get involved in at least one societal issue that did not directly impact its business, yet just 21% said they knew from personal experience that the brands they used kept the best interests of society in mind. A further 49% said that brands could do more to solve social ills than government.
Richard Edelman, president and chief executive officer of Edelman, said brands that pass through the "three gates of trust" – product, customer experience and societal impact – earn big rewards in purchasing, loyalty, advocacy and communications.
Amanda Glasgow, global chair of brand at Edelman, added: "Consumers are wary that brands are ‘trustwashing’ and being less than truthful about their commitment to society. Talking about an issue in an ad isn’t enough. Brands need to go further to impact real change. This could be anything from advocacy to financial support to internal reforms."
The study drew insight from 16,000 respondents across eight markets: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK and the US.