Consumers Build Trust in Companies Slowly – and Lose it Quickly

April 14, 2023

Trust is a key component of brand loyalty, but it’s hard-won and easily lost. According to a Razorfish and GWI survey [download page] of almost 1,700 consumers ages 16-64, 58% of respondents said it was a “somewhat slow” or “very slow” process to gain trust in a brand that they recalled building a relationship with.

By contrast, when thinking about a time they lost trust in a company, 70% said they lost that trust quickly.

The report details how data privacy is a fulcrum of brand trust. When asked which of various factors would cause them to lose trust in a company, a leading 64% of respondents said that the collection of their personal data without their permission would have that impact. By comparison, fewer (49%) said that a company mistreating their employees would cause them to lose trust, despite this being an essential component of how consumers view brand activism.

Moreover, if a company shared personal data without their authorization, half (50.2% share) would never do business with them again, while an additional 14.7% share would find a way to retaliate (such as by talking about the company on social channels). Not surprisingly, promising not to sell customer data is the leading way that marketers believe they can build trust around personal data sharing practices.

In terms of gaining trust, almost two-thirds (65.8%) said that if a company was transparent about how they use their personal data, that would be a trust-builder. A majority 55.1% also said that they would gain trust if a company didn’t unnecessarily collect their personal data. Both of these data-related actions ranked above liking the company’s products/services (49.1%) as a builder of trust.

In other highlights from the survey:

  • Some 54% would be likely to erase all of the personal data all companies have on them if given the opportunity, and the ability to do so has previously been shown to be a crucial way companies can earn consumers’ trust.
  • About 4 in 10 would be interested in owning a centralized location for all of their personal data that would allow them control over sharing it.
  • Consumers’ top motivator for sharing data would be to contribute to a larger purpose, followed by saving time and getting free stuff.
  • Only 1 in 4 respondents feels comfortable that their data is private.
  • Consumers are 3 times more likely to share their personal data with established brands than startups.
  • Only 29% of respondents read through disclaimers.

For more, download the report here.


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