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What Do Most Trustworthy Brands Have in Common that Sparks Customer Loyalty?

All brands want to be viewed as trustworthy. A new national survey from The Values Institute revealed its most trustworthy brands.

Amazon is America’s most trustworthy brand following by Marriott, Microsoft, Hilton, and Southwest Airlines. Hotels and electronics are the country’s most trusted brand categories, while auto insurers and mobile communications rank lowest on the public trust spectrum.

This first-ever national survey and peer review effort measures the trustworthiness of the nation’s largest brands in the fast food, airline, mobile services, auto insurance, retail, hotels, and electronics categories.

The Values Institute (TVI), a leading social science research entity based in Santa Ana, Calif., calculated trust by looking at 25 trust dimensions in the five “macro” categories of Competence, Consistency, Connection, Candor and Concern. The national diagnostic survey measured brand strengths and weaknesses in each category, plus the trust outcomes of Loyalty, Advocacy, and Satisfaction. The effort follows years of regional trustworthiness surveys and Trust Summit events designed to explore the levels of, and reasons behind, public trust in certain brands over others.

Here are the most trustworthy brands in the seven measured categories: Amazon (retail), Marriott (hotels), Microsoft (electronics), Southwest (airlines), Subway (QSR), AT&T (mobile services), and Geico (auto insurance).

What commonalities do these category leaders in trustworthiness possess that can, perhaps, help other loyalty marketers improve in this crucial area?

Evan Magliocca, brand marketing manager for Baesman Insights & Marketing, told Loyalty360 that there is definitely an overarching theme to these brands and why they’re topping the list for most trusted brands.

“Each has an intense focus on making their customer happy—it’s a pretty simple idea really,” Magliocca explained. “It’s also impressive to see a transition in customer behavior, where most trusted brands usually involve face-to-face customer service, customers are now native to e-commerce as shown by Amazon topping the list.” 

In perusing the list, Magliocca said that the customer focus theme comes to the forefront and offered the following comments:

Amazon: Trust in best pricing, shipping, and returns and that they’ll have the item you’re looking for.

Marriott: Transformed its rewards model to make benefits more attainable and meaningful to its members.

Southwest: Focus on customer service. The bar is pretty low for the airlines. Normal customer service is actually an improvement over assaulting passengers. 

AT&T: Another industry that has a lot of criticism for customer service, but most customers have positive experiences from their interactions with AT&T.  

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