All talk and no action is seen as trust-washing by consumers. Today consumers are not only evaluating brands on the function of products and services but also on their purpose and trustworthiness. Global communications firm Edelman released their “2019 Trust Barometer Special Report: In Brands We Trust?”, finding a huge gap between consumers’ desire for brands to be socially responsible and their belief that brands can actually be trusted to act in a responsible manner.
“Brands must do as well as say, whether the action is a contribution to support a cause, or fundamentally changing how the company operates,” says Amanda Glasgow, Global Head, Edelman’s Brand practice, adding these actions “get people talking, earn coverage and drive peer conversations that brands can then amplify across other channels.”
Brand trust and having a purpose are no longer nice-to-haves—they are increasingly important to consumers’ purchase decisions. Consumers reward brands that “walk the talk” on their purpose-driven initiatives and are perceived to be honest.
- 81% of consumers said they consider brand trust in their purchasing decisions.
- 34% actually trust the brands they buy from.
- 53% of consumers think brands “trust-wash,” or aren’t as committed to society as they claim.
- 63% of consumers trust the insights shared by social influencers over the messages that brands create themselves.
- 58% of those surveyed had made a purchase in the past six months after an influencer recommended the product.
- 41% of consumers admit to distrusting brand messages.
- 73% use ad-blocking tools, up 10 points from last year.
- 53% say every brand has a responsibility to get involved in at least one social issue that does not directly impact its business.
- 56% of consumers said too many brands use societal issues as a marketing ploy to sell more product.
The “In Brands We Trust?” survey of 16,000 people was done in 8 markets: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK and the US.
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