Following years of erosion, trust in brands stabilizes
Trust in brands has stabilized. After several years of steady decline, consumer trust in Chinese brands improved slightly in 2013, and trust in foreign brands in China remained flat, according to BrandZ™ analysis.
Trust levels declined worldwide after the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009. In China, dangerous levels of air pollution, food safety scandals and other problems exacerbated that global trend.
While all of the health and safety issues haven’t been resolved, the Chinese public seems more assured that both the government and business are addressing problems. Trust hasn’t rebounded, but it’s no longer declining.
Successfully remediating problems and restoring trust is critical to China’s social and economic rebalancing. Trust is part of the foundation of a market-driven economy in which brands play an important role helping consumers discriminate among products and services that provide benefit and those that potentially can cause harm.
Market-driven brands predominate in the BrandZ™ Top 10 ranking of trusted Chinese brands.
Implications: Brands that cultivate trust can help advance— and gain advantage—from China’s economic transformation. That requires brands to be transparent, revealing problems when they happen, addressing them quickly and communicating often in social media and other channels. These initiatives, which serve consumers and the national welfare, also strengthen brands.