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Backgrounder: Gustavson Brand Trust Index

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

The Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) measures Canadian consumers’ opinions about 299 corporate and product brands across 26 categories.

The GBTI evaluates responses from 6,342 Canadians to assess consumer levels of brand trust and what causes them to recommend a brand to their friends and family. The team behind the GBTI found that Canadian consumers closely link brand trust with consumer advocacy. The responses are indexed to provide rankings for the brands nationally, by category, gender, age, region and income.

Gustavson Brand Trust Model

The brand trust survey measures overall brand trust and three different dimensions of trust that influence whether consumers recommend a brand to their networks:

  • Brand trust overall – consumer perceptions of whether the brand is trustworthy and acts with integrity
  • Values-based trust – consumer perceptions on the brand’s social responsibility
  • Functional trust – consumer perceptions on how well the brand performs or functions
  • Relationship trust – consumer perception on how the brand interacts with its consumers
  • Word of mouth – the extent to which consumers recommend the brand to others

Canada’s Top 10 Most Trusted Brands for 2018 (Rank in 2017):

  1. Canadian Automobile Association/ CAA / BCAA / AMA (2)
  2. MEC (1)
  3. Costco Wholesale (3)
  4. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (4)
  5. IKEA (5)
  6. CBC / Radio Canada (16)
  7. Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix (13)
  8. Home Depot (37)
  9. Marriott Hotels (31)
  10. WestJet (10)

Insights from the 2018 Gustavson Brand Trust Index

  • The top three most trusted brands in Canada are membership or co-op businesses.
  • Consumers have different expectations of brands depending on what they sell—consumers place more value on relationship trust with service-based brands. In contrast, consumers place more value on functional trust with product-based brands.
  • Values-based trust continues to be a key area for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors in garnering consumer loyalty.
  • Female consumers are more trusting than their male counterparts; however younger generations, regardless of gender, are less trusting than their elders.
  • Social media is less trusted as a news source than traditional media outlets.

Winners of Consumers Trust by Industry Sector

Appliances

Maytag

Automobile Rental

Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Automotive

Toyota

Beer

Alexander Keith's

Beverages

Canada Dry

Coffee/Tea

DAVIDsTEA

Confectionery/Snack Foods

Lindt / Lindor

Dairy

Parmalat

Delivery Services

FedEx

Electronics & AV Equipment

Sony

Financial Services

Interac

Food & Drug Retailers

Costco Wholesale

Gas Stations

Petro-Canada

Hotels

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Household Care

Tide

Insurance

Canadian Automobile Association

Media & Entertainment

CBC/Radio-Canada

Packaged Foods

President's Choice

Personal & Beauty Care

Band-Aid

Restaurants/Takeout

A&W

Retailers (Other)

MEC

Sportswear

Columbia Sportswear

Technology

Microsoft

Telecoms/Cable

Fido

Transportation

WestJet

Travel

Expedia

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Keywords: business, brands, customer service


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