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)

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

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in Saanich parkland

The birds don’t often touch down in the south of the Island

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read