The 2021 Gustavson Brand Trust Index

To The Gold Mine

Key Points

  1. The 2021 Brand Trust Index from the Gustavson School of Business reveals that consumer loyalty and purchase considerations have undergone dramatic changes in the last year, emphasizing the importance of consumer trust, brand advocacy, and authenticity for businesses.
  2. As the world climbs out of the pandemic, brand awareness is no longer the currency of business—consumer trust is the priority. There is a need for companies to rethink how they are driving positive societal change.
  3. It is important to ensure that your communications are supported by actions because authenticity matters more than ever before.
  4. Those organizations who demonstrate a good sense of concern for their employees’ well-being will benefit from lasting effects consumers’ perceptions of brand trust.

Key findings of the report:

  1. CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) came out on top as the most trusted brand in Canada in 2021, with Dyson in the second position and Lego taking the third spot. 
  2. The average correlation between brand authenticity (values-based trust) and overall trust has significantly increased this past year.
  3. Reliability of supply chains impacts consumers’ perception of trust.
  4. While trust in media is at an all-time low in 2021, traditional media continue to be more trusted as a news source than social media outlets.
  5. Besides Patagonia, Visa, Chapters/Indigo and The North Face are the brands that were recognized among most trusted brands by consumers aged 35 and less.
  6. Costco continues to lead the pack with the highest score on employee treatment while , Uber, SkipTheDishes, DoorDash and Lyft, alongside Amazon, received low trust scores on employee treatment.
  7. After five years of very low trust due to the emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen is building back trust with Canadians but remains the least trusted automotive brand.

Gustavson school of business