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Gustavson Brand Trust Index releases new report

The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria has released its latest Gustavson Brand Trust Index, which examines consumer trust in brands. According to the report, consumer faith in brands is on the decline, despite increased reliance on certain services and products during the COVID-19 pandemic. The report attributes this decline to a rise in skepticism, with consumers growing more conscious of their purchasing habits and watching the values brands stand for.

“While trust in key institutions has been eroding significantly over the past few years, the average brand trust scores for all brands surveyed in 2020 are at an all-time low,” said Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business. “Brands that were unable to make products available to customers during the pandemic saw a decline in trust scores. For example, despite the fact that Lysol and Clorox enjoyed increased demand, they lost trust among consumers due to the scarcity of their products on shelves.”

The school’s initial 2020 study, conducted between January and February, measured 7,800 Canadian consumer opinions about 342 corporate and product brands in 27 categories. The results showed that Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Canadian Automobile Association, Costco, Home Hardware and Home Depot ranked as the top brands overall. A second, separate study conducted in April measured opinions from 1,050 Canadians of 105 brands from the original list. This study indicated that the most trusted brands during the pandemic were Canada Post, Shoppers Drug Mart, Pharmaprix and CTV News.

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