Trust in me?

Gary - 30 th June 2015


No organisation sets out not be trusted. It is a value that features in the brand visions of many leading companies and, whilst we would argue that it is an outcome of actions rather than a ‘value’ itself, it is clear that to be trusted by its customers, consumers and employees is a high level goal for many brands.

But not many companies achieve the levels of trust they seek and often those where trust is most important are the least trusted. To gauge levels of trust Brand Vista ran a national internet survey in May this year to test levels of trust in brands. The survey was structured to be nationally representative and 400 people responded. Here is a flavour of the results, just the very top line.

Let’s start with an obvious benchmark. The Government. Look away now Mr Cameron as the Government scored an average of only 4.4 out of 10 and 70% scored it less than 6 out of 10. Only three trust levels were lower; The European Parliament (3.8), Politicians themselves at (3.3) and Wonga at 2.4.

Wonga’s appearance at the bottom of the list is hardly surprising but it ranged markedly within the social classes and different age groups we surveyed and in some sectors of the data it fared better than the big banks. 

So, let’s turn to the banks. LIBOR, greed and 6 years of scandal and bad press have had an enormous effect on their trust levels and the highest amongst the banks was Direct Line which achieved levels of 5.1. The highest of the banks but still worryingly low. To illustrate how low they have sunk it was noteworthy that both Kwik Fit and Primark scored higher levels of trust than all the banks at 5.2 and 5.5 respectively

At the top of the tree were John Lewis, M&S, Boots, ASDA and Amazon whilst organisations such as the BBC, for which trust is absolutely key, scored levels only on a par with some of the grocer brands. In fact half of respondents rated the BBC’s trust level below 6 out of 10 and it was only marginally ahead of SKY.

Perhaps the biggest learning form this research is how low all the scores were. Of course they vary by age, gender, geography, customer and non-customers but overall very few brands achieved scores higher than 6 out of 10. As far as delivering the ‘trust’ value corporate Britain has a long way to go.

So, who can we really trust? Well, according to our research it’s our partners. 45% gave them 10 out of ten and they averaged 8. The worrying thing is that 5% scored them at zero. Ahem.

For more information on Brand Vista’s May 2015 Trust survey, get in touch.


Gary is the chairman and one of the original founders of Brand Vista. With over 20 years of brand experience both on the client and agency side he loves finding out what customers and consumers are really thinking and turning this knowledge into compelling brand propositions that succeed in the real world.
Find out more about Gary