Reader’s Digest has released the results of its third annual Trusted Brand Survey, published in the June issue that is available now. More than 5,500 Americans across the country participated in the online survey, which awards the “Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand” title to winners in 40 product categories, including travel, food and beverage, automotive, beauty and healthcare, retail and customer service, financial services, household items, consumer electronics and more.
In this year’s survey, more than half of participants responded that the “Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand” seal of approval would increase their likelihood of trusting a brand, and 49 percent are more likely to purchase its products or services. Due to consumer sentiment toward the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand certification, the number of winners incorporating the seal into their advertising campaigns has increased fourfold since the program’s inception in 2015, according to RD. Ford, Toyota and Kellogg’s are among the brands that previously have incorporated their recognition as a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand into their advertising. Only brands voted by America as Most Trusted are eligible for the certification program.
Gaining consumer loyalty is more vital than ever, with approximately three out of four (72 percent) of survey participants citing trust as important for purchasing decisions, an increase from 69 percent in 2016, says RD.
Additionally, when a product’s or service’s quality and price are similar, 81 percent will buy from the company they trust more. As today’s brand-safe economy continues to evolve, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain consumer confidence, with roughly half (49 percent) of participants indicating they are less trusting of brands today, according to RD.
Other key findings from the survey include:
• Trust outweighs product pricing. Seventy percent of participants said they would pay more money to support a trusted brand.
• Trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty. Eighty percent said they tend to stick to the same brands they trust the most.
• Sixty-seven percent agreed that “if a brand lets me down once, it’s hard for me to trust it enough to continue to buy it.”
• Millennials are more likely to engage with brands they trust. Millennials are more likely to experiment with new brands and remember ads from trusted brands.
• Millennials are highly responsive to brands that engage, with 71 percent reporting they trust brands that value their contribution and feedback.
“As a 113-year-old company, Ford considers trust the foundation of its longevity,” said Wendy King, Ford SUV’s marketing communications manager. “We are honored that Ford cars and SUVs were recognized as the most trusted car and SUV brand by Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand program.”
Added Lee Zellweger, publisher of Reader’s Digest, “Trust is one of the most essential values we maintain at Reader’s Digest. Through this program, we aim to capture Americans’ attitudes on brand trust in order to illustrate the importance of establishing relationships that build loyalty with today’s consumers. This year’s winners consist of brands and companies that have excelled at earning the respect and allegiance of consumers nationwide.”
The Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands for 2017 are:
• Airline: Southwest
• Allergy relief: Claritin
• Automobile (passenger cars excluding trucks): Ford
• Automobile (SUV/crossover): Ford
• Automotive insurance: State Farm
• Banks: Bank of America
• Body lotion/moisturizer (excluding facial creams): Nivea
• Bottled water: Dasani
• Coffee: Folgers
• Cold & flu remedies: NyQuil
• Cold cereal: Kellogg’s
• Computer (desktop/laptop): Dell
• Credit card: Visa
• Cruise line: Carnival Corp.
• Eye care product/eye health (excluding services, lenses and frames): Visine
• Fast food/casual dining: McDonald’s
• Facial moisturizer/cream: Olay
• Hair color: L’Oreal
• Headache/pain reliever: Tylenol
• Herbal supplements/vitamins: Nature Made
• Household air fresheners/deodorizers: Glade
• Household cleaning product: Lysol
• Investment firms: Fidelity
• Juice: Tropicana
• Small kitchen appliances (food processors, blenders, toasters, etc.): KitchenAid
• Laundry detergent: Tide
• Life insurance company: MetLife
• Mass merchandiser retail store: Walmart
• Mobile phones: Apple
• Mouthwash: Listerine
• National hotel chains/resorts: Hilton
• National pharmacy/drug store: CVS Pharmacy
• Nutrition bars: Nature Valley
• Pet food: Purina (Pet/Dog/Cat/Puppy/Kitten Chow)
• Salad dressing: Kraft
• Soap/body wash: Dove
• Soup: Campbell Soup
• Weight loss systems: Weight Watchers
• Wireless providers: Verizon
• Yogurt: Yoplait
The Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey first launched in Asia in 2000. Since then, it has grown into a global initiative spanning 25 countries, where it is used as a tool to assess consumer insights and attitudes related to products, services and professions and to recognize the world’s most trusted brands.