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.


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.”