Which brands do consumers trust?

That much is clear: The confidence in brands counts more than the supposed user benefits of their products. But how can trust be created––and who do the Germans trust most?

It is Nivea skincare. And this is not necessarily surprising. With this brand, consumers associate tradition and the feeling to buy a quality product. This confidence may be the result of over 100 years of consistent brand management which Nivea always brought into line with a “good feeling”.

The marketer MDR Advertising and the IMK Institute for Applied Marketing and Communications Research wanted to know it: They asked 3,000 Germans to spontaneously name the brand they trust most and to justify this just as spontaneously. On second and third position came Samsung and Apple: Corporations that communicate and position themselves by visions or brand ideals instead of USPs (see last posting).

Number four to ten are German classics: Adidas, Maggi, Volkswagen, Miele, Mercedes-Benz, Dr. Oetker and Bosch. Brands that have been settled in consumer sentiments for generations and obviously seldom or never abused consumer confidence … something that can not be said of Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Bahn (German Rail) or Lufthansa: They play no role in the study as they broke the trust too often.

The managing director of the MDR Advertising, Niels N. von Haken, says about the benefit of the study: “The spontaneous mentioning is the hardest value because only the brands with a maximum charisma make it into the hearts and minds of consumers”. IMK-CEO Sören Schiller finally adds: Consumer’s confidence is the hardest currency––and the full confidence is the greatest thing that any brand may achieve.

Conclusion: It’s not the product quality nor any USP. Above all ranks the brand ideal, the continuity and honesty.

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