Canada’s most trusted brands: Gustavson survey

The most trusted brand in Canada is the Canadian Automobile Association, followed by Mountain Equipment Co-Op and Costco Wholesale, according to the fourth annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI). Conducted by the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, the GBTI evaluates responses from 6,342 Canadians to assess consumer levels of brand trust and what causes them to recommend a brand to their friends and familyThe responses are indexed to provide rankings for the brands nationally, by category, gender, age, region and income.

The survey measures overall brand trust and three different dimensions of trust that influence whether consumers recommend a brand to their networks:

  • Brand trust overall: consumer perceptions of whether the brand is trustworthy and acts with integrity
  • Values-based trust: consumer perceptions on the brand’s social responsibility
  • Functional trust: consumer perceptions on how well the brand performs or functions
  • Relationship trust: consumer perception on how the brand interacts with its consumers
  • Word of mouth: the extent to which consumers recommend the brand to others

Canada’s Top 10 Most Trusted Brands for 2018 (Rank in 2017):

  1. Canadian Automobile Association (2)
  2. MEC (1)
  3. Costco Wholesale (3)
  4. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (4)
  5. IKEA (5)
  6. CBC/Radio-Canada (16)
  7. Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix (13)
  8. Home Depot (37)
  9. Marriott Hotels (31)
  10. WestJet (10)

 Insights from the 2018 Gustavson Brand Trust Index

  • The top three most trusted brands in Canada are membership or co-op businesses
  • Consumers have different expectations of brands depending on what they sell – consumers place more value on relationship trust with service-based brands. In contrast, consumers place more value on functional trust with product-based brands
  • Values based trust continues to be a key area for brands to differentiate themselves from their competitors in garnering consumer loyalty
  • Female consumers are more trusting than their male counterparts, however younger generations, regardless of gender are less trusting than their elders
  • Social media is less trusted as a news source than traditional media outlets