June 28, 2023 - Now in its ninth year, the 2023 Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) has been released and names MEC (Mountain Equipment Company) and Costco as the most trusted brands in Canada with a tied score, reflecting their perceived value and strong relationships with customers.
“The two brands’ commitment to value-driven offerings, customer service and competitive pricing has resonated with consumers searching for affordability in the face of inflation”, said Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.
GBTI is a significant research study established in 2015 that explores consumer trust, the factors influencing it, and the brands that excel in building trust. This year, GBTI featured 406 national and global brands across 33 categories. The survey was conducted between January and April 2023. A full list of the most trusted brands in Canada may be found HERE. A key finding this year was brands that offered savings and value to consumers increased their trust rating, influenced by rising inflation and hits to people’s bank accounts. Those brands that seemingly turned a deaf ear to rising costs saw their trust scores erode.
After achieving the top spot in the Gustavson Brand Trust Index in 2019 and 2020, MEC faced a significant decline in 2021 following the dissolution of their coop structure and sale to a private investment company in the US, falling into seventh place. However, through determined efforts, they reclaimed their first-place position as the most trusted brand in 2023.
“MEC’s incredible comeback story showcases the power of resilience and customer loyalty, propelling them from a moment of crisis to reclaim their position as Canada’s most trusted brand,” said Klein. “Their story inspires other companies to prioritize transparency, sustainability, and customer-centric approaches to regain trust and thrive in a competitive market.”
A new highlight of GBTI 2023 is a comparison of trust between French and English Canadians. In the media category, for example, all respondents placed significant trust in The Weather Network while French Canadians reported much lower trust in social media compared to their English speaking counterparts. These findings underscore the importance of cultural and linguistic nuances when assessing brand trust across different groups in Canada.
Other Key Findings
Hey brand builders! The 2023 Gustavson #BrandTrust Index results are officially in! Download the full report here to see top-ranked brands and read the need-to-know insights from this year's most comprehensive consumer research study on trust: Tweet
Brand Trust Index Webinar
Join us for a discussion about the Gustavson Brand Trust Index and what brand trust looks like for businesses in 2023 and beyond. Guests include Saul Klein; Michele Guimond, VP of Marketing of MEC; Chandra Colbear, Sr Director, Ecommerce and Direct Sales at Dyson; Stephen Beatty, Vice President, Corporate at Toyota.
About the Gustavson Brand Trust Index
The Gustavson Brand Trust Index (GBTI) is a significant research study conducted by an academic institution that explores consumer trust, the factors influencing it, and the brands that excel in building trust. It was established in 2015 and serves as a platform for promoting responsible management practices within organizations. The GBTI emphasizes the growing importance for businesses in the 21st century to make positive contributions to their communities. The Gustavson School of Business, being an educational institution, possesses a unique vantage point to assess brand values and educate individuals about their significance in fostering consumer trust in contemporary society. The GBTI team consists of esteemed researchers who evaluate the overall level of consumer trust in brands, placing a particular emphasis on the role of brand values. Their study encompasses over 400 brands across Canada.