New Reader’s Digest Survey Shows Which Brands Consumers Trust The Most

Walk down your average supermarket aisle, and you’ll see hundreds, even thousands of brands. Often, you’ll see plenty of familiar names in the same category, and you might think most Americans regard them as “pretty much the same.”

But some brands enjoy more “trust” from shoppers than others. Whether it’s because of their long history, charitable acts, successful ad campaigns, or the shopper’s personal family history, one brand almost always stands out. A recent survey published by Reader’s Digest asked more than 5,000 people to identify the brands they trusted most in many categories, from supermarket brands to personal services, technology companies and more.

Guess Which Brands Consumers Trust the Most

Let’s have a little fun here. I’ll mention a few product categories, and you pick the brand that you think most deserving of trust. I’ll tell you the answers in the next paragraph. Here we go: think about cereal, fast food, pet foods, laundry detergent, and cell phones. Which brands popped into your head as most worthy of your trust?

Well, the most trusted brands in those categories are Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Purina, Tide, and Apple, respectively. And by a big enough margin to be statistically significant. Any surprises there for you? They’re all big advertisers, to be sure—but General Mills, Burger King, Pedigree, Gain, and Samsung spend plenty on ads, as well.

Services Worth Trusting

Let’s try another round, this time with brands that represent services instead of physical products. What brands do you trust most in these categories: airlines, investment firms, hotel chains, weight-loss systems and wireless providers?

In order, those winners are Southwest, Fidelity, Marriott, Weight Watchers, and Verizon. I find those even more interesting, though not surprising. Think of all the advertising you’ve seen for airlines, investment firms and wireless providers? It looks like the proverbial “wild west” out there, yet somehow individual brands manage to work their way to the front and earn an extra level of respect from potential customers.

The Big Question: Why?

I don’t claim to know why, in all cases. For example, why does Tropicana top Minute Maid when it comes to juice? But for many of them, the answers just feel right or the custom product labels for displaying thier marketing resonates more with some consumers than others. Campbell’s has meant soup for so long, even their advertising feels like it could make you feel better. Listerine? Well, it almost seems like medicine—so it has to work, right? I still remember their great tag line—“the taste people hate twice a day.”

By the way, you can check out all the results of the survey right here. But in my opinion, the think that has made most of these brands the most trusted in their categories is their dependability and staying power. Staying true to their roots, delivering a strong, consistent message and reliable performance year after year, decade after decade, in many cases.

What Products and Businesses Do You Trust?

It’s kind of fun to think about, but it’s also important to look at it from a business perspective. What are you doing to make your customers and prospects feel that way about you? I’m going to be discussing that same thing with our folks soon.

We’re in kind of a unique position to earn that trust—our customers don’t need to know hundreds of different printers, or thousands of different promotional product suppliers worldwide. Instead, they just know – and trust –us. If we continue to deliver for them constantly and consistently, and if our advanced technologies like Corporate Kiosk continue to make their lives easier and their businesses more efficient, we’ll keep earning that trust.

I’d love to hear what brands you trust, and why. Maybe we can each learn something to help our businesses. Give me a call or leave a comment below and we can chat about it, you know, like good neighbors. Oh, by the way—guess who’s the most trusted car insurance brand?


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