NEWS26 May 2021

Brands not seen as trustworthy by consumers

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FRANCE – More than seven in 10 consumers have little faith that brands will deliver on their promises, according to Havas’ Meaningful Brands study.

Wooden brick spelling 'trust'

The research found that 47% of brands were seen as trustworthy, falling to 39% in North America and 24% in east Asia.

Three-quarters of brands could disappear overnight and customers would not care, according to the survey, with customers happy to find alternatives.

The findings are based on a biennial survey of 395,000 people worldwide carried out in mid-2020, and also uncovered that 73% of people wanted brands to act now for the good of society and combatting climate change.

A majority of consumers ( 53%) were also prepared to pay more for brands that take stands on societal and environmental issues, with 64% preferring to buy from firms that prioritised purpose as well as profit.

The research also found that 34% of consumers thought companies were transparent about their commitments and promises.

Mark Sinnock, global chief strategy officer at Havas Creative Group, said: “This year’s report shows us that consumers have entered an ‘age of cynicism’. They are surrounded by what they perceive as empty or broken promises – at all levels of our society – and we are starting to see the impact of this mistrust on brands.

“The more claims they make to be delivering change at a collective, societal level and the more these promises are left unfulfilled, the wider the gap between what we expect and what we actually get, and the deeper the cynicism.”