Monday, February 20, 2006

Trust Does Not Fall Far from the Apple Tree

This tidbit goes hand-in-hand with my previous posts on how we make decisions ... we listen to inputs that fit our worldview and we block out contrary opinions. This makes it very hard for marketers to involve prospects in pitches ... unless we happen to understand the decision maker's worldview.

Now the seventh annual Edelman Trust Barometer confirms yet another aspect of this phenomenon. In their latest poll of nearly 2,000 opinion leaders in 11 countries, when we seek out a credible source of information, we are most likely to seek it from "a person like me."

In the U.S., trust in “a person like me” increased from 20% in 2003 to 68% today.

“Trust is the key objective for global companies today because it underpins corporate reputation and gives them license to operate,” said Michael Deaver, Vice Chairman, Edelman. “To build trust, companies need to localize communications, be transparent, and engage multiple stakeholders continuously as advocates across a broad array of communications channels.

So, what company does the Edelman Trust Barometer say we trust the most? It was a surprise to me. I would have gone with P&G. Check it out here. Who do you trust the most?


At 9:23 PM, Anonymous LC said...

When I think about decision-making in my own life, I would like to say that I use a round table discussion with a diverse panel. But that is not true. I call my parents, I talk to my roomates and friends. All of those people are "like me." I guess I like knowing that I am asking advice from someone who would make choices that fit my values.

Companies are a different story. I find it hard to believe that 51% of Americans trust McDonalds. I mean they just sell fast food! It takes a lot more than clever advertising to build trust in my eyes. I want to know that the company is socially responsible, it cares about its customers and it is honest with the public. And all of this has to come from a trustworthy source (TV as you can see from the survey doesn't cut it).

I would agree that P&G has more than proved their worth, but I would have placed UPS at the top. Why else would you use them to ship your valuables across the world? I trust what brown can do for me.

Trust is the hardest assest to acquire and the easiest to lose. I agree with Michael that trust is built through open communication and targeted messages. People want to know that companies have the same values that they do. And it matters- the article says that 80% of people say they would "refuse to buy goods or services from a company they don't trust." This survey really lays it out nicely. Thanks for the link.


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