To borrow – and massage – the words of Banjo Paterson, there’s been movement at the station …
We’re referring to the latest survey results from Roy Morgan on most trusted brands – at a time when trust is one of the more frequently repeated words in the news. It comes up regularly at the financial services royal commission and this week Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe said Australia’s economic prosperity relies on people being able to trust banks and financial institutions.
People must also be able to trust their living standards will get better over time, he said, adding: “Our economy, and our society, works best when there are high levels of trust.”
So, according to Roy Morgan, your trust in Aldi, Bunnings and Qantas has not wavered since the survey in July. But there has been a shake-up in the rest of the top 10.
Car insurance group NRMA fell from fifth to seventh place, Bendigo Bank slid from seventh to ninth, and Samsung, Myer, RACQ and IGA fell out of the top-10.
In went Kmart, ING, Toyota and Target.
Roy Morgan explains that a brand’s Net Trust Score (NTS) is generated by asking respondents, unprompted, to name brands they trust and brands they distrust. Subtracting a brand’s distrust score from its trust score reveals its NTS.
Trust and distrust are coveted and abhorred in equal numbers.
The brands with the highest distrust scores? No prizes for guessing here: the Big Four banks and AMP, Telstra, AGL, Coles, Facebook and Shell.
As Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine explains: “Trust is vital to the success of any business, but the key message of the survey is that growing distrust can be a disaster, leading to customer churn, loss of market share and in some cases a long slide into oblivion.”
Is maintaining trust as simple as promising to put the onion under the sausage after a Bunnings customer slipped and fell on a piece of onion? It may have created an outcry in some quarters, but it does show the business takes quick action on behalf of its customers – and perhaps its lawyers.
Ms Levine says: “Trust is not just a ‘marketing’ or ‘comms’ issue – it goes to the heart of corporate culture and governance for every company.
“We have seen time and again companies making bad business decisions that don’t take into account the way people will feel about an action or policy. Whether it’s Facebook, the big banks or our major utilities, directors and their management teams need to think about the social drivers of trust and distrust – ethics, believability, integrity and transparency.”
Are you quick to abandon a brand once trust is dented? How do you gauge whether a brand is trustworthy?