Consumers’ Expectations of Trust in Brands Grow Rapidly Across Industries

January 31, 2019

With continued retail data breaches, the influx of so-called “fake news” and the stunning revelation about Cambridge Analytica, trust is on everybody’s minds. But has this increased consumer expectations? Significantly so, according to a new Brand Keys survey [pdf]. 

Coming top of the list in terms of growing expectations of trust is social networking, with expectations growing 300% year-over-year.

Social networks are feeling increased pressure by users to be more transparent, yet platforms like Facebook are still falling short, as evidenced by the recent revelation that a majority of Facebook users were not aware that the platform was categorizing their interests for advertising purposes.

On average, customer expectations for trust have increased by more than 250% across all brands and categories since 2018.

Retail, both online (272%) and traditional department stores (220%) also rank very high on the list of categories with higher expectations of trust. Data breaches – such as experienced by Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s – are likely culprits. This is important given results from another study, which found that, after price, brand trust was the second most cited factor that influenced where consumers shop.

Concern over fake news has been at the forefront of people’s minds and has been for some time. In fact, a majority of programmatic advertisers were looking for ways to solve the problem of fake news nearly two years ago. Brand Keys listed AM & PM News (Broadcast & Cable) as the fourth highest category for increased expectations of trust.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are categories that have managed to dodged consumers’ higher expectation of trust. While expectations of trust do still exist for categories such as out-of-home coffee, pizza, non-alcoholic beverages, toys and snack foods, the expectations have not grown nearly as quickly for such categories.

About the Data: For Brand Key’s 2019 CLEI survey, 51,673 consumers, 16 to 65 years of age from the nine US Census Regions were interviewed over the telephone, in-person or online.

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