The top 13 most trusted brands in Canada of the 342 that the Gustavson Brand Trust Index research team runs its annual survey on. The survey asks 7,800 Canadian consumers their opinion each year with new brands being included. (Gustavson Brand Trust Index Image)

COVID-19 soured consumer trust, says UVic-based group

Facebook finishes last in Canadian consumer poll

When COVID-19 hit Canada the demand for Lysol and Clorox disinfecting products soared, but something else happened too.

A great many consumers who relied on cleaning products during the pandemic also lost trust in the brand due to the “scarcity of their products on shelves,” said Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

Klein spoke about the results released by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index on June 15 that showed Canadian consumer faith in brands is on the decline. This comes even as consumers became more reliant on specific services and products during the pandemic.

“Brands that were unable to make products available to customers during the pandemic saw a decline in trust scores,” Klein said.

READ ALSO: Opinion: Trust in brands critical for big companies

The post-COVID follow up was an addendum to the 2020 annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index report. The research team had initially run the 2020 study between January and February and measured 7,800 Canadian consumer opinions on a range of 342 corporate and product brands. The annual report has been going since 2015 and this year the top three names were Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) and the Canadian Automobile Association tied for the top spot, with Costco third, Dyson vacuums at fourth and Home Depot at fifth.

Of the 342 brand names that people were asked to respond to, Facebook finished last.

Chinese firm Huawei electronics was 341st, likely due to the U.S.A. charging them with international trade malpractice and whose CEO, Meng Wanzhou, has been living in Vancouver under house arrest since 2018.

Twitter was third-to last, part of a decline for social media in general, Klein said.

Following the report’s initial completion, in April, a research team from the Gustavson School of Business carried out a follow-up study to gauge changes in consumer trust in the wake of COVID-19. This study measured opinions from 1,050 Canadians on 105 of the brands in the Trust Index. It was there the study found companies such as Lysol and Clorox were suffering from the scenes of empty store shelves, which were well documented in the news.

The post-COVID-19 results indicated the most trusted brands during the pandemic were Canada Post and Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix.

Overall, the Gustavson Brand Trust Index has shown trust in key institutions has been eroding significantly over the past few years, Klein said.

“The average brand trust scores for all brands surveyed in 2020 are at an all-time low,” Klein said. “[This can] be attributed to the rise in consumer skepticism, with consumers growing more conscious of their purchasing habits while closely watching the values brands stand for.”

READ MORE: Colum: Has social media passed its peak?

The Gustavson Index had shown a decline among the big four Canadian telecom companies, though this year, telecom companies showed significant improvement after the pandemic struck.

Telus is 265th, Shaw 286th, Rogers 324th, Bell 338th, out of the annual report.

One of the most telling takeaways from the annual report is the value and loyalty millennials put on organizations that are socially involved and contribute to a better world. Lush soap company, for example, was the most trusted brand in Canada among ages 18 to 35, due to its history of donating to progressive groups and advocating for many causes.

The Gustavson Brand Trust Index team is hosting a free webinar on Wednesday (June 17) that will discuss what brand trust looks like for businesses post-COVID-19. Guests include Klein; Jeff Walker, CEO of Canadian Automobile Association in North and East Ontario; Sandra Sanderson, senior vice-president, marketing, Sobeys; and Tom Newitt, vice-president of marketing for A&W.

The free webinar starts at 10 a.m. Register by emailing gustavsontrust@uvic.ca.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusUVic

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Greater Victoria housing market sees positive bump in June

Sales up by 76.8 per cent compared to May

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Saanich plugs into $100,000 government grant for 20 new EV chargers

Six chargers to be installed at four municipal parks

Saanich woman says sexual assault was dismissed by police because of her ‘body language’

Patrol officers investigate sexual assault files, make decisions on what goes to Crown counsel

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight in Victoria

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Playing his tune

Musician Daniel Morel breaks out a tune with his harmonica in front… Continue reading

US officer resigns after photos, connected to death of black man in 2019, surface

Elijah McClain died, last summer, after police placed him in a chokehold

Black worker files discrimination complaint against Facebook

Oscar Veneszee, Jr. has worked as an operations program manager at Facebook since 2017

Nestle Canada selling bottled water business to local family-owned company

The Pure Life bottled water business is being sold to Ice River Springs

Major B.C. salmon farm tests new containment system to curb sea lice infestations

System “essentially eliminates” contact between wild and farmed fish stocks, says Cermaq

Most Read