The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer report has been released, and the results are miserable. In business, global consumers do not trust leadership, and companies need to make big changes very quickly to build consumer trust.
Globally, 50% of consumers trust businesses, but just 18% trust business leadership. In the United States, the statistics are similar, but the story is a bit worse for leadership. While 50% of U.S. consumers trust businesses, just 15% trust business leadership.
Taking a closer look at the lack of trust in business leadership felt around the world, just 26% of consumers globally trust that business leaders will solve social or societal issues while only 20% trust that business leaders will correct issues within industries that are experiencing problems. When it comes to making ethical and moral decisions, just 19% of consumers trust that business leaders are up to the task. In fact, only 18% trust that business leaders will tell consumers the truth regardless of how complex or complicated it is.
Edelman offers a list of 16 attributes that businesses can use to build consumer trust:
- Listen to consumer needs and feedback.
- Treat employees well.
- Place consumers ahead of profits.
- Communicate frequently and honestly on the state of the business.
- Have ethical business practices.
- Take responsible actions to address an issue or crisis.
- Have transparent and open business practices.
- Offer high quality products or services.
- Be an innovator of new products, services, or ideas.
- Work to protect and improve the environment.
- Address society’s needs in everyday business.
- Create programs that positively impact the local community.
- Partner with NGOs, government, and third parties to address societal needs.
- Have a highly-regarded and widely-admired top leadership team.
- Rank on a global list of top companies.
- Deliver consistent financial returns to investors.
Is your company and leadership team up to the task?
You can view the complete 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer presentation below. It’s filled with data about how consumers around the world feel about business and governments as well as additional information about how to build consumer trust.