Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands
by Renee Daly on March 21st, 2012

Entrepreneur teamed with The Values Institute at DGWB, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based think tank that focuses on brand relationships, on a consumer survey that explored the reasons some brands manage to stay on top. According to the article, Secrets of the 10 Most-Trusted Brands, what became clear is that today’s must trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response.

Below is a summary of the tactics used America’s most trustworthy brands to connect with consumers. Read the article for the full description of how each brand listed lives out the tactic employed.

1. Get personal: Amazon

2. Sell happiness: Coca-Cola

3. Live up to your promise: FedEx

4. Keep it cool (and fun): Apple

5. Design an experience: Target

6. Stay consistent: Ford

7. Can-do attitude: Nike

8. Forge connections: Starbucks

9. Serve up the quirky: Southwest Airlines

10. Focus on the customer: Nordstrom

And because I have to, here is some background on the research methodology: The Values Institute, which conducted the study, identified five values that influence trust in a brand: ability (company performance); concern (care for consumers, employees and community); connection (sharing consumers’ values); consistency (dependability of products/services); and sincerity (openness and honesty).

A total of 1,220 U.S. consumers were asked to rate each trust value on a five-point scale, from “very unimportant” to “very important.” Additionally, five consumer perceptions were measured for each value; these included statements such as “They respond to feedback about their products and services,” and “They value my business and reward me for the loyalty.” Each respondent rated two randomly selected brands; those who felt strongly were also asked to provide individual comments. The result is the “Trust Index,” a composite score that indicates the level of trust respondents had with each individual brand in relation to the other studied brands.

Renee Daly, Director of Project Strategy