We’re living in a new era for brands, where consumer trust has become a make-or-break difference for a brand’s success. There’s a new, accelerated expectation for brands to do more and say more than ever before. There’s an increasingly urgent need to address both personal and societal needs, affecting how brands operate.

Building on nearly two decades of experience in researching and analyzing trust in businesses and their brands, Edelman has developed a methodology for brands to measure and manage their own trust capital.

Edelman Trust Management (ETM) Brand is a framework for managing brands differently. Developed together with business leaders and renowned academics, it goes beyond providing static equity models to deliver a strategic roadmap for solving for specific challenges and identifying opportunities using trust’s predictive and protective power.

The Importance of Brand Trust

Our study, Brand Trust in 2020, uncovered that trust in a brand is second only to price when it comes to evaluating a new brand. Fundamentally, trust acts as a critical gateway from consideration to purchase to loyalty, deepening relationship between brands and consumers.

Trust allows brands to be better equipped to navigate disruption, seize opportunities, engage and act responsibly.

  • Trust is a belief in the future. It is predictive in nature.
  • It is a willingness to accept uncertainty (e.g. Trying a new brand / product).
  • Trust enables smoother, deeper and more meaningful consumer relationships.
  • Trusting is a rational and emotional process, built from conscious and unconscious biases.
  • Trust is magic, intricate, powerful yet very subjective and complex.

Trust Allows Brands to...

1. Win Brand Relationships

Trust (53%) is second only to price (64%)

2. Accelerate Down the Funnel

Nearly 1 in 3 loyal customers have a brand relationship built on the strongest trust level

3. Earn Loyalty & Attention

People with high brand trust (75%) will only buy products of that brand

4. Protect Against Headwinds

People with high brand trust (78%) are likely to recommend and defend the brand

Source: Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020


The Edelman Trust Management: Brands Framework

We unlock the power of trust to diagnose strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities for building and protecting trust.

Our framework evaluates five key trust-driving dimensions to help build a comprehensive and actionable roadmap for your brand.

"Our data is clear: trusted brands work harder for their business and drive more value with consumers, calling for brand leaders to understand what levers to activate to reap the benefit of brand trust and outperform peers."

Antoine Harary

Global Managing Director & COO, Edelman Data & Intelligence


Dimensions of Brand Trust

  1. Ability: Functional trust. Is your brand good at what it does? Is it competent?
  2. Dependability: Transactional trust. Does the brand keep its promises? Is it reliable?
  3. Integrity: Moral and ethical trust. Is the brand honest?
  4. Purpose: Societal and environmental trust. Is your brand trying to have a positive impact on society overall?
  5. Self: Personal trust. Is it relevant to the audience? Does it resonate emotionally?


Activating Brand Trust at an Individual Level

ETM Brand data can uncover your audience’s Trust Profile down to an individual level, telling us who a person is and what moves and inspires them. These unique Trust Profiles, available in certain markets, shows us the bigger picture of your audience in the context of what matters in other parts of their lives. We can:

  • Better understand and analyze that person and their segment
  • Create the right strategy and corresponding messages to be more relevant
  • Target the distribution of your content to reach your audience more effectively
  • Hit the most effective trust levers and maximize ROI on your media spend and market activities

Audience profile data is multifaceted and includes demographics, financial profiling, media and social media consumption as well as psychographic profiles.

Interested in learning more?

Tell us more about your business needs and let’s discuss how Edelman can help you