Brand trust is one of the most valuable intangible assets in business. But in the commercial environment trust can be elusive and brands must work to build and maintain it. To do this brands must be reliable, responsible and deliver on their promises. Factors such as use (or indeed, misuse) of consumer data mean trust will grow in importance for brands and consumers.

Definition

Brand trust reflects a consumer's expectation that a brand's product, service, or more broadly, corporate behaviour, reflects the promises the company has made.

Key Insights

1. The brand trust crisis may be exaggerated

The commonly held view is that trust in brands has declined substantially in the last twenty years. However, long-term statistics from the Edelman Trust Barometer show UK public trust in business has been flat for some time and could in fact be rising. While year on year changes do occur and significant drops can be interpreted as evidence of a crisis, the long-term trend is more positive – despite short-term blips. That said, with half the population not trusting business and two-thirds not trusting business leaders to tell the truth, there is a problem which needs addressing.