Trust is anything but a simple or unified science. To adequately measure it, we need to look at multiple factors. The Values Institute and the Center for Brand Values Communication and Research have determined that five distinct dimensions or variables of trust must be assessed in any measurement of a brand’s trustworthiness.
Competence involves the extent to which a brand is seen as being effective, and how well it solves the problem or fills the physical or intangible need for which it was created.
Consistency provides a direct measure of a brand’s ability to perform dependably over the long term. Can we count on it to do what it says?
Candor Measures sincerity, authenticity and honesty. This involves not only the amount and accuracy of information that is made public, but also the manner in which it is communicated.
Concern measures the more emotional factors such as caring, empathy, tolerance and safety. Sincere efforts to demonstrate concern contribute to high levels of trust.
The final dimension of trust is perhaps the most critical to building trust. Connection assesses the extent to which our personal values, goals, norms and shared beliefs mirror those of a brand.
Not unlike Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the trust journey begins with functional base requirements. As your brand moves up the pyramid, you begin to transcend mere functional abilities and add more emotionally charged “glue.” To reach the top takes work, just as in any meaningful relationship. That said, the view from the top is absolutely worth the journey because of the results—satisfaction, loyalty, advocacy and pure joy.
The Values Institute has fielded our proprietary Most Trustworthy Brands survey each year for the last 6 years. We measure the top 3 brands in 10 categories to determine the rankings. The study asks 24 questions about each brand. These questions represent the 5 C’s - Competence, Consistency, Candor, Concern and Connection and then a weighted cTrust score is calculated from the 5 variables. All of the scores are indexed against the other brands in each study to show the relative difference.
A score of 100 is the average score among the top brands across all categories.