How are you measuring brand trust?


When measured the right way, brand trust has the potential to be an insightful and highly predictive customer experience metric to drive long-term growth.

But brand trust can be thought of in different ways – capability (is a brand delivering on its promise?) or character (is it ethical in how it operates?) – which means that the value of generic studies is open to doubt.

The problem with a standard trust approach

  • Australia’s Fifth Dimension Research and Consulting found that if a respondent thought the brand trust question was asking them to rate the brand capability, they were 30% more likely to say they trusted a brand.
  • But if a respondent thought the brand trust question was asking them to rate the brand character, they were 88% more likely to say they distrusted a brand.
  • One-third of distrust was based on distrusting brands in general, and not the brand the respondent was rating.
  • Consumers regularly buy from brands they say they don’t trust.
  • Unprompted trusted brands are the most salient, not the most trusted overall. 

Why it matters

Brand trust has become a controversial measure, with many of the world’s leading brands scoring low on trust. The problem lies with measurement, and not with the importance of trust as a business concept, which remains central.

Leadership brands in a brand trust model developed by Fifth Dimension achieved a 50% increase in market share and double the levels of advocacy of brands that were nominated as being “trusted” in a generic brand trust study. 


This article first appeared in

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