Brands People Trust

Think about all the brands that we buy and surround us on a daily basis. Some of these brands are great, and some are not-so-great. Perhaps the quality isn’t consistent, or the value is not sufficient, or there has been corruption. But perhaps the most important factor is the level of trust consumers have in a brand. Americans on the whole have lost trust in companies and government. Generally, younger consumers are quite skeptical of corporations and believe brands should hold to a high ethical standard. This can present a significant problem for marketers. Think about it –  which brands do you think are reliable? Which brands do you trust?

Morning Consult, a global data intelligence company, recently released a report on “The Most Trusted Brands of 2020” which researched consumer opinion about 2,000 brands. The report was based on 16,700 interviews for each of these brands and judged brand trust by various generations.  A sample of U.S. adults were asked “how much do you trust each brand to do what is right?” The options were “a lot,” “some,” “not much,” “not at all,” and “don’t know.” The brands ranking were determined by how many participants selected “a lot.”

The most trusted brands include technology and consumer products companies (CPG). The top choice for most trusted brand was the U.S. Postal Service, followed by Amazon at second, and Google at third place. Nearly half of the top 25 spots are CPG brands, including Hershey’s, Cheerios, M&M’s, and more. When ranked by generation, younger generations preferred Google and Amazon, while USPS ranked number one with Gen X and Baby Boomers.

Which brands do you trust to do what is right?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of branding and trust with students. Why is trust important?
  2. How can companies gain, or lose, the trust of consumers?
  3. Poll students: What are their most trusted brands/products?
  4. View the report at
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team chose a brand that ranks high on the list. What should the brands do to retain trust?
  6. Also have teams examine brands that rank low on the list. What should those brands do to build consumer trust?

Source:  Ad Week; Morning Consult


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