BRAND. Trust, Design, Value and Marketing concept. To do list. Notepad with pencils

Trust is hard to come by these days, unless you’re Google, which claimed the top spot on Morning Consult’s 15 Most Trusted Brands Globally list for 2021. Industry-specific results haven’t been released yet, but the only food company to make the top 15 was Nestle. It came in at #12, between Nike and MasterCard.

While the trust rankings themselves are difficult to draw conclusions from, the survey revealed some important information about why consumers do and don’t trust brands. The data also show that this trust (or lack thereof) can have real bottom line impacts.

Here are some insights about what trust means for consumers and how companies can earn and keep it.

Why trust is important

In the United States, 23% of consumers said they have stopped using a brand that lost their trust and will never use them again, while another 28% said they have switched to a competitor. Only 15% said that they have continued to use a brand that has done something to lose their trust.

What currently drives trust

In terms of what drives trust, the survey looked at several types of factors. Overall, 85% of U.S. consumers said companies do well on functional qualities (e.g., “makes high quality products,” “is a good value for the price”) and experiential qualities (e.g., “makes it easy for me to get what I need”), but less believe companies deliver on corporate social responsibility (CSR) qualities like environmental and social issues. Security factors, like data breaches, can also damage trust.

“An imminent sea change in brand loyalty”

Morning Consult suggests that the value that brands deliver has changed, and that this value will more and more be driven by factors other than the traditional functional and experiential. Consumers have a lot of choices, “and switching [brands] is easier than ever,” the report notes. As a result, “true brand loyalty will be forged by emotionally powered ties that elevate relationships.”

Stay tuned for more about trust when Morning Consult releases their industry-specific insights.

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