Amazon: Most Trusted, Recommended Brand in U.S.

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Millward Brown - Beyond Trust: Engaging Consumers in the Post-Recession World

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New Research by Millward Brown Reveals Amazon is the Most Trusted and Recommended Brand in the U.S.

New consumer research released by Millward Brown reveals that Amazon.com is the top performing brand in the U.S. based on “trust” and “recommendation,” the key ingredients to brand success, according to a new report entitled “Beyond Trust: Engaging Consumers in the Post-Recession World.

The “Beyond Trust” study was conducted in partnership with The Futures Company and introduces “TrustR,” a new metric for understanding and strengthening the bond between consumers and brands.

“The ‘TrustR’ metric is very relevant in a global economy that is struggling to emerge from a gloomy recessionary period. Consumers are less likely to spend hard-earned money on brands that they don’t trust. In fact, we found that the number one “TrustR” brand in each of the 22 countries we researched was nearly seven times more likely to be purchased and consumers were 10 times more likely to have formed a strong bond with these brands,” commented Eileen Campbell, Global CEO of Millward Brown.

TrustR is calculated by looking at consumer responses to the questions “how trustworthy is this brand?” and “would you recommend this brand?” The scores are indexed and combined to reach a TrustR score. The average score is 100, and anything over 105 is considered “good.”

Amazon’s TrustR score is 123.

The rest of the Top 10 Brands in the US, with TrustR scores ranging from 118-122 were: FedEx, Downy, Huggies, Tide, Tylenol, Toyota, WebMD, Pampers, and UPS (United Parcel Service).

NOTE: The study was conducted over the course of 2009, prior to Amazon’s recent standoff with Macmillan over eBook pricing, and Toyota’s recent recall of more than 2 million vehicles for problems with sticking accelerators and  floor mats trapping gas pedals.

“When a person recommends a brand they put their own personal trust and credibility on the line. They are only willing to recommend brands which themselves have proven reliable and trustworthy,” said Nigel Hollis, EVP and Chief Global Analyst of Millward Brown. “Amazon.com, the brand ranked first in the U.S. by TrustR, has achieved that status through exceptional service and providing its own recommendations to users. This combination has made Amazon the gold standard of trust and recommendation in the U.S.”

Why Trust?
Trust is a state of deep belief and assurance. On its most basic level it is about absolute reliability. Our trust in the laws of nature, in the unending sequence of days following nights, gives us the stability and predictability we require for daily living. We set a similar standard of unequivocal trustworthiness for the brands that touch our lives most closely.

Why Recommendation?
When it comes to purchasing decisions, trust alone is not enough. Trust is a state of mind. It’s how we think or feel about a brand. It is about our history with a brand and how that brand has treated us over time. Recommendation is more about action. It is a reaction to our recent experiences with a brand. By recommending a brand we demonstrate and affirm our deep trust in it.

The full report is available exclusively to WPP clients, but a summary version (PDF link) can be accessed at millwardbrown.com.

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