What are the most trusted CPG brands?

Loyalty and price are key, but CSR also plays a big role in BrandSpark's annual ranking.

BrandSpark has released the results of this year’s Most Trusted Awards for CPG brands, and once again brands with strong CSR foundations gained an edge.

BrandSpark determines the winners based on the results of its annual Canadian Shopper Survey, which polled 20,000 Canadian consumers.

The full list of winning brands, broken down by category, can be found below. But insights from the Shopper Survey offer clues about what drives brand trust – and why that is so important.

According to BrandSpark’s survey, consumers look to their trusted brands first before they look to price. Price is the final factor in deciding which product to buy after considering things like the expectations around quality a recognized brand delivers, with only 17% of respondents saying they buy products based on the lowest price. Furthermore, 66% said they try new products when it comes from a brand they already trust.

While a strong product experience and value are typically the top drivers of brand trust, behaving fairly and ethically also drives trust, be it in maintaining a fair cost for products or supporting social causes.

Ethical brand behavior has been a factor in other consumer-led rankings in 2017, such as the recent Leger Corporate Reputation Survey.

“The strongest instances of cause-marketing happen when a brand takes a position that entails some business risk or financial cost, suggesting to like-minded consumers that the brand’s position is authentic,” said Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark, adding that strong products that deliver on the brand’s promise are still needed to make sure that doesn’t go to waste.

“Speaking to consumers in a way that resonates with their particular perspective and experience helps to create an emotional response that builds a foundation for a deeper level of trust. To maintain the advantage of a positive connection to the brand, manufacturers need to continue to provide consumers with great products that reaffirm their trust,” he said.

A major issue arising with a product, such as a recall, can quickly undo trust that a brand has worked to build. But 62% of shoppers say brands that respond to product issues quickly will increase their trust, which had a bigger impact than any other brand action in the survey.

“While major product issues reveal brands to be fallible, as long as they are not repeated, Canadians are willing to forgive and recognize that mistakes can be learned from,” said Levy. “It is crucial for brands to rebuild at these times by taking responsibility, addressing the problem, and explaining what steps they will take to avoid the issue in the future.”