Brand trust in an age without trust: Expert opinions

  • Lantieri T
  • Chiagouris L
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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the influences of mistrust and recommend actions that managers can take to insulate their brands in a climate of mistrust. Design/methodology/approach – Brand trust has been studied extensively on a micro level to assess a wide variety of influences that impact trust and the effective actions managers can take to increase trust. There are macro trends, however, that have resulted in a climate of general mistrust by consumers of business and its products. Qualitative research in the form of a series of in-depth interviews with experts in brand strategy was conducted to identify the trends contributing to a climate of mistrust and the potential managerial actions needed to insulate brands. Findings – Eight themes that have created a climate of mistrust were identified. These include the emergence of more cynical consumers, frequent consumer recalls, emphasis on the needs of business ownership over the needs of consumers, company structure, uneven quality advances, service quality declines, too many undifferentiated choices and pseudo relationships. Originality/value – The paper makes several recommendations that can be used to address each of the eight themes that have created general consumer mistrust. Importantly, the themes are organized along the lines of those that are beyond the control of any one company, those that are within the control of management across the company and those within the purview of the brand management team.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Brand equity
  • Brand image
  • Brand management
  • Quality
  • Trust

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Authors

  • Tara Lantieri

  • Larry Chiagouris

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