The most trusted brand in America is…

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
ecommerce concept
Consumers place their trust in Amazon.

A well-known retailer takes top honors in brand trust, according to a new survey of U.S. consumers.

Overall, Amazon was the most trusted brand by all generations in a study by Clarify Capital, which surveyed over 1,000 Americans about their opinions about different industries and specific brands. The e-tail giant received the top rating despite the fact that retail did not rank among the five most-trusted industries, which were health care, construction, repairs, technology and real estate (Amazon does have involvement in the health care and technology sectors).

Looking specifically at consumer trust in the retail category, Amazon was the most trusted retailer (deemed trustworthy by 56% of respondents), followed by Walmart (44%) and Target (36%). Macy's, Albertsons and Lowe’s were the least-trusted retail brands (each cited by 22% of respondents).

Restaurants
Among restaurants, the largest percentage of respondents rated Pizza Hut as trustworthy (40%), followed by KFC (39%) and McDonald’s (37%). Panera Bread (20%), and Chipotle Mexican Grill and Sonic Drive-In (18% each) were the least-trusted restaurant brands, with Chipotle ranked as the lowest-trusted brand overall by baby boomer respondents.

The survey also measured respondent views about brand trustworthiness. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said it is “very important” that is brand is trustworthy, and another 15% said it is moderately important. Only 7% said it is just a little important for a brand to be trustworthy.

When asked what makes a brand trustworthy, popular responses included:

  • Delivers on promises (36%).
  • Asks for honest reviews and feedback (36%).
  • Pricing transparency (35%).
  • Builds relationships with consumers (34%).
  • Consistent performance (33%).
  • Listens to and acts on feedback (31%).
  • Employee treatment transparency (30%).
  • Provides behind-the-scenes info about processes (29%).
  • Easy to use website (29%).
  • Pays employees well (28%).

Men and women ranked these indicators differently. Surveyed men didn’t place “delivering on promises” among their top three (though women respondents ranked it at No. 1). Instead, male respondents viewed a company’s ability to build relationships with its consumers as more important.

Nearly everyone surveyed (90%) said that trust makes them more likely to purchase from a business. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they’d be more likely to recommend a trusted brand to friends, and 43% would leave positive reviews online. Thirty-seven percent would follow a brand on social media.

To determine which U.S. industries are the most trustworthy, Clarify Capital consulted the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and then surveyed over 1,000 Americans about their opinions about different industries and specific brands. See the full survey results here.

Survey: Consumers committed to sustainability
A recent survey by pricing advisory firm Simon-Kucher & Partners indicates sustainability is also an important factor in consumer brand selection. Sixty-five percent of U.S. buyers surveyed by Simon-Kucher & Partners consider sustainability when making purchases, a 14% increase from a year ago.

The shift in consumer behavior coincides with a shift in sentiment toward sustainability during the past year, as 73% of U.S. consumers view environmental sustainability to be 'as important’ or ‘more important’ to them than a year ago, the report said.

Notably, 45% of respondents who previously identified their attitudes towards sustainability as negative or neutral, now cite environmental sustainability as a higher priority when it comes to purchasing decisions. Overall, 61% of U.S. consumers rank sustainability as a top five value driver in at least one category.

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