The Gustavson Brand Trust Index


Gustavson Brand Trust Index

GBTI 2023 Report

The results are in for the 2023 Gustavson Brand Trust Index 

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Gustavson Brand Trust Index

Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) Panel 2023

Watch Dr. Saul Klein and brand leaders in a candid panel discussion

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2023 Gustavson Brand Trust Index: Fear of inflation impacts Canada’s Brand Trust

MEC and Costco capitalize on their investment in customer-centric approaches and value offered

Now in its ninth year, the 2023 Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) has been released and names MEC (Mountain Equipment Company) and Costco as the most trusted brands in Canada with a tied score, reflecting their perceived value and strong relationships with customers. 

“The two brands’ commitment to value-driven offerings, customer service and competitive pricing has resonated with consumers searching for affordability in the face of inflation”, said Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria. 

GBTI is a significant research study established in 2015 that explores consumer trust, the factors influencing it, and the brands that excel in building trust. This year, GBTI featured 406 national and global brands across 33 categories. The survey was conducted between January and April 2023. A full list of the most trusted brands in Canada may be found HERE. A key finding this year was brands that offered savings and value to consumers increased their trust rating, influenced by rising inflation and hits to people’s bank accounts. Those brands that seemingly turned a deaf ear to rising costs saw their trust scores erode.  

After achieving the top spot in the Gustavson Brand Trust Index in 2019 and 2020, MEC faced a significant decline in 2021 following the dissolution of their coop structure and sale to a private investment company in the US, falling into seventh place. However, through determined efforts, they reclaimed their first-place position as the most trusted brand in 2023. 

“MEC’s incredible comeback story showcases the power of resilience and customer loyalty, propelling them from a moment of crisis to reclaim their position as Canada’s most trusted brand,” said Klein. “Their story inspires other companies to prioritize transparency, sustainability, and customer-centric approaches to regain trust and thrive in a competitive market.” 

A new highlight of GBTI 2023 is a comparison of trust between French and English Canadians. In the media category, for example, all respondents placed significant trust in The Weather Network while French Canadians reported much lower trust in social media compared to their English speaking counterparts. These findings underscore the importance of cultural and linguistic nuances when assessing brand trust across different groups in Canada. 

Other Key Findings 

Brand Trust Index Webinar 

Watch a discussion about the Gustavson Brand Trust Index and what brand trust looks like for businesses in 2023 and beyond. Guests include Saul Klein; Michele Guimond, VP of Marketing of MEC; Chandra Colbear, Sr Director, Ecommerce and Direct Sales at Dyson; Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate at Toyota.  

About the GBTI

The Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) is the only study done by an academic institution that investigates consumer trust, the factors that affect it, and the brands that succeed at it. Established in 2015, the GBTI champions responsible management within organizations through its findings, highlighting the increased need for 21st-century businesses to contribute positively to their communities. As a school, the Gustavson School of Business is uniquely positioned to both evaluate brand values and educate on their importance to consumer trust in today's society. Comprising top researchers in their fields, the GBTI team measures overall consumer trust in brands and emphasizes the role of brand values in its study of over 400 brands across Canada.