Study: Amazon Tops Brand Trust Ranks But Apple, Best Buy Polarize Shoppers

  • Written by  Glenn Taylor
Study: Amazon Tops Brand Trust Ranks But Apple, Best Buy Polarize Shoppers

With 100 million Prime members under its belt, Amazon has no difficulties building a loyal consumer base. In fact, when it comes to the 10 top-grossing retailers, 30% of consumers selected Amazon as the brand they trust the most, according to the recently launched the Brand Trust Index.

Apple and Best Buy, meanwhile, generated the most polarizing responses, with shoppers ranking their experiences with the retailers as either extremely positive or extremely negative. Club warehouses Costco and Sam’s Club have the highest aspirational appeal ratings, according to the study.

Developed by Soulmates.AI and psychometric research firm psyML, the study surveyed more than 4,000 shoppers and measured trust along three major dimensions — brand loyalty, brand reliance and emotional appeal — and 12 subdimensions.

Instead of asking whether a consumer trusts a brand or not, respondents were asked to rank how they agreed with statements such as, “Apple’s creativity is what makes them a good brand” or “Macy’s is only interested in making money.”

Over all, the scores of the 10 brands (on a scale of one to 100) include:

  • Amazon (99);
  • Costco (74);
  • Best Buy (66);
  • Target (66);
  • Kohl’s (63);
  • Apple (60);
  • Sam’s Club (58);
  • Macy’s (54);
  • Walmart (26); and
  • Dollar General (24).

“One thing that jumped out at me is that Walmart and Dollar General have issues with developing trust, but where they did well was among the youngest population that we looked at,” said Dr. J. Galen Buckwalter, Primary Architect at a.BTI in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “It certainly countered my stereotype thinking beforehand. I’d say it probably speaks well for Walmart’s future. Maybe in the past, Walmart faced specific issues around trust with older shoppers since they were associated with closing down a lot of mom-and-pop shops, whereas the younger generation doesn’t really have that as part of their understanding of what this brand is.”

Each dimension was scored on a 100-point scale, with scores of 70+ suggesting consumers believe the brand performs well in that dimension. Scores between 64-40 indicated a neutral expectation from consumers, while a score below 39 suggested they did not expect the brand to perform.

Subdimensions within the survey were designed to focus on factors ranging well beyond the purchase and shopper experience. The 12 subdimensions analyzed include: Personal Similarity, Shared Values, Contrarian Sentiment, Service Competence, Social Responsibility, Honesty, Consistent Success, Innovation, Brand Cynic, Aspirational Appeal, Social Engagement and Anti-Brand.

“In order to be considered and trusted as an innovative brand, even if it’s from a technologically innovative standpoint, audiences also expect brands to be culturally relevant and aware of social issues,” said Johanna Tam, Director, Analytics and Data Products of Soulmates.AI, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints.

back to top