Trustworthy Companies Reap Bottom-Line Benefits

Compiled By Traci Purdum When it comes to trust, American companies can redeem themselves if they prove to consumers they are positive, proactive trust builders, according to a study by Golin/Harris International and market research firm InsightExpress LLC. "Last year, the story was scandal, how American businesses undermined public trust and confidence. This year, the story is the solution, how American business is recognizing the power of trust as an asset for driving growth, profitability and competitive differentiation in an ever-changing and challenging marketplace," says Rich Jernstedt, CEO of Golin/Harris, a Chicago-based public relations firm. The survey, which questioned 300 American consumers over the age of 18, revealed that 37% of Americans think business is heading in the right direction in rebuilding trust, even though 40% still say they trust business less today than they did a year ago. Other findings:

  • 46% of survey respondents believe CEOs are doing the right things to restore trust.
  • 39% say they would start or increase their business with a company specifically because of trust, while 53% say they would stop, reduce or switch their business to a competitor because they have concerns about a company's trust.
  • 53% believe business has learned its lesson, will behave differently and will be more trustworthy in the future.
  • 83% agree that they are more likely to give a company they trust the benefit of the doubt and listen to their side of the story before making a judgment about corporate behavior.
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