Price versus brand trust

“Brand trust now lives at the intersection where personal and societal issues converge, and where words are backed by action.”—Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020, Edelman

Only price beats brand trust. And only sometimes.

We’ve been doing a deep dive on brand trust in the time of COVID-19. That led us to Edelman’s latest findings on consumers’ relationships with brands. It’s clear that the world’s recent state of uncertainty has changed things in a big way. A few intriguing trends from Edelman’s 2020 survey:

  • 70% say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past
  • There’s been a 13% jump in “buying on belief”
  • Trust is now second only to price in consumer consideration
  • And customers are happy to spend more on a brand they trust

Finding trust in strange times.

According to Edelman, 81% say personal vulnerability (around health, financial stability, etc.) is driving the increased need for brand trust. And it’s not just earned based on their personal needs, but larger societal issues.

85% want brands to solve their problems

  • Be a dependable provider
  • Be a reliable information source
  • Be a protector

80% want brands to solve society’s problems

  • Be a visionary
  • Be a problem solver
  • Be a positive force shaping culture

Trust can be earned, but not bought.

“Personal experience and earned media were found to be the most important factors in the gain or loss of trust … Influence is built through authority and empathy, with industry experts and people like themselves rated as most credible.”—Edelman

Emphasis on the earned. As in earned media. Which is even more important considering that 7 in 10 consumers use one or more strategies to avoid seeing advertising altogether. In the last two years alone there have been double-digit increases in ad-blocking technology.

Action speaks louder than advertising.

Perhaps the most forward-looking impact of Edelman’s study is their assertion that consumers aren’t satisfied with brands simply making a statement, post or emotional ad. They want you to put your actions where your beliefs are. Show consumers what matters to your brand and you’re more likely to earn their trust—and wallets.