The United States Postal Service, Amazon and Google rank as the top three most trusted brands in the country, according to the inaugural Most Trusted Brands report from data intelligence company Morning Consult.
The report, the largest study of its kind, features an average of 16,700 interviews per brand for nearly 2,000 brands. It also showcases brand trust by generation, highlighting Google’s dominance with Gen Z and Millennials and USPS’s win with Gen X and Boomers.
“It’s no secret that trust is key to brand success,” said Michael Ramlet, CEO of Morning Consult. “In today’s climate, every single day presents leaders with the opportunity to cultivate reliability, a key driver of trust.”
The USPS took the top spot in the report, followed by Amazon and Google to round out the top three. Online payment company PayPal came in fourth, followed by The Weather Channel at fifth.
Nearly half of the top 25 spots in the report were claimed by consumer and packaged goods industry (CPG) brands. Those in the top 10 include the Hershey Company at seventh, Cheerios at ninth and M&M’s in 10th.
According to the report, tech soared among younger generations, while older generations embraced legacy brands. Google and Amazon were among the top-performing brands with Gen Z and Millennials, while USPS was No. 1 with Gen X and boomers.
Netflix overperformed with younger generations, the report found, as did the Hershey Company among older Americans. Nike’s Kaepernick gamble paid off with Gen Z, as the apparel brand was the seventh most-trusted brand among Gen Z consumers.
CPG brands performed better among older generations in the report, dominating more than two-thirds of the Most Trusted Brands among Gen X and Boomers, half of Millennials and less than one-third of Gen Z consumers.
The report also included an examination of how today’s societal forces are shaping a new era of trust. Distrust appears to be rippling through the country, especially for concentrations of power.
According to the report, less than a quarter of Americans have a lot of trust in their neighbors or labels on food packaging, while fewer than one in 10 say the same about the news media or the U.S. government. Just 4 percent put a lot of trust in either Wall Street or Hollywood.
However, for brands looking to build and maintain customer relationships, there was a silver lining in the report. Most major brands have maintained high levels of confidence from consumers. Three-quarters of Americans trust the average major company to deliver on promises.
Top performing brands, including Google and Amazon, are more well-trusted than any major institution, save the military, the report found.
There is a generational challenge facing brands in the future, according to the report. Younger consumers are generally more skeptical of corporate America and hold brands to higher ethical standards.
Younger Americans are more distrusting of brands across the board, according to a review of the average trust rating of nearly 2,000 brands tracked in Morning Consult Brand Intelligence.
Morning Consult is a global data intelligence company delivering insights on what people think in real time. The Most Trusted Brands of 2020 was powered by Brand Intelligence, Morning Consult’s platform used by Fortune 500 companies to understand daily consumer perceptions and transform that knowledge into a competitive advantage.