Brand trust is one of the most important assets of your business. If you are recognized as a trusted brand, it means your customer knows you provide consistent, reliable and ongoing delivery of your brand promise. Without it, brands often falter, losing revenue and employee trust as well as consumer engagement. And right now it seems, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer faith is at an all-time low, according to The Gustavson School of Business in Victoria.
The School conducts an annual Brand Trust Study, published in January. Dubbed The Gustavson Brand Trust Index, it investigates consumer trust, the factors that affect it, the brands that succeed at it, and the brands that struggle with it. It was established to raise awareness of the role trust plays in the minds of consumers when making purchasing decisions. The index highlights how shared values, relationship management and customer experience influence consumer trust. It also measures the relationships between brand performance, social equity, trust and advocacy for brands in Canada.
This year, in light of COVID-19, their brand trust research team mobilized a follow-up study to their 2020 report to gauge whether there would be changes in consumer trust.
That study shows that faith in brands is on the decline, even as society becomes more reliant on certain services and products during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read the full report at https://www.uvic.ca/gustavson/brandtrust/assets/docs/final–gbti-2020-main-report.pdf
4 Ways to Increase Brand Trust
With brand trust declining, businesses need to explore effective practices to counteract negative engagement. The Gustavson Brand Trust recommends the following:
- Treat Your Employees Well
Brands that supported their employees and displayed concern for their health and safety during the pandemic saw an increase in trust levels among consumers.
- Have a Healthy Supply Chain
The pandemic transformed the way consumers looked at a brand’s supply chain. For an organization to be trusted and seen as credible, it must ensure the availability and competitiveness of its product and supply chain. Brands that were unable to make products available to customers during the pandemic saw a decline in trust scores.
- Take a Stance on Social Issues
Today’s customers assign their loyalties to organizations that contribute to making the world a better place. They expect businesses to be proactive in solving long-standing societal issues.
- Take Consumer Feedback and Make Positive Changes
No organization is perfect. Mistakes are bound to be made. However, organizations that welcome feedback and use it to fix an issue, engender greater consumer trust and loyalty.
Brand Trust Index Webinar
Join a discussion on the Gustavson Brand Trust Index, and what brand trust looks like for businesses post-COVID-19 on June 17, 2020. Guests include Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business; Jeff Walker, CEO of CAA North & East Ontario; Sandra Sanderson, senior vice-president, marketing, SOBEYS; and Tom Newitt, vice-president of marketing for A&W.
This free webinar will take place on June 17, from 1 – 2:30 p.m. EST. To register, email [email protected]