Trust in organisations and brands has been declining steadily as consumers have more information and are more sceptical. There’s also striking evidence that attitudes have shifted, certainly in Europe and North America, as a result of the global financial crisis. But if trust isn’t enough, how should companies respond? We’ve been collaborating with Millward Brown, the WPP company which runs the WPP brand equity research programme BrandZ, to try to answer this question.
Our joint research produced new insights into consumer behaviour and attitudes which should help shape the behaviour of companies and their brands, and new metrics to help gauge the effectiveness of these actions. In summary:
- trust is still essential
- but it needs to be combined with customer recommendation to be effective
- which generates the ‘equation’, Trust + Recommendation = Success.
And since both levels of trust and willingness to recommend can be measured in research, the quantitative wizards at Millward Brown have produced an index, the TrustR score, based on global consumer research, which indicates how effective different companies and different brands are in different markets.
There are some surprises in the data – Pampers tops the chart globally (and is also number 1 in the UK, France and Germany), while China Mobile is in the top 10. And Nokia, which tends to get written off by American commentators dazzled by Apple and Google, is top in 8 of the 22 countries covered by the study. The research shows a strong correlation between TrustR scores and brand financial performance.
The good news is that the TrustR report is free to our clients, and comes tailored for specific markets and specific categories. If you are a client, the consultants you usually work with can arrange for a copy to be sent to you. If you’re not a client, and are interested, please email us at betterfutures[AT]hchlv.com, and we’ll see what we can do.