Gaining consumer loyalty is more vital than ever, with approximately three out of four (72 percent) participants in a new Reader’s Digest survey citing trust as important for purchasing decisions, an increase from 69 percent in 2016. The media brand recently announced the results of its third annual Trusted Brand Survey, in which more than 5,500 Americans participate.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • Trust outweighs product pricing. Seventy percent of participants said they would pay more money to support a trusted brand.
  • Trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty. Eighty percent said they tend to stick to the same brands they trust the most.
    • Sixty-seven percent agreed that “if a brand lets me down once, it’s hard for me to trust it enough to continue to buy it.”
  • Millennials are more likely to engage with brands they trust. Millennials are more likely to experiment with new brands and remember ads from trusted brands.
    • Millennials are highly responsive to brands that engage, with 71 percent reporting they trust brands that value their contribution and feedback.

“Trust is one of the most essential values we maintain at Reader’s Digest,” said Lee Zellweger, publisher of Reader’s Digest, in a news release. “Through this program, we aim to capture Americans’ attitudes on brand trust in order to illustrate the importance of establishing relationships that build loyalty with today’s consumers. This year’s winners consist of brands and companies that have excelled at earning the respect and allegiance of consumers nationwide.”

The Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands for 2017 are:

  • Airline: Southwest
  • Allergy relief: Claritin
  • Automobile (passenger cars excluding trucks): Ford
  • Automobile (SUV/crossover): Ford
  • Automotive insurance: State Farm
  • Banks: Bank of America
  • Body lotion/moisturizer (excluding facial creams): Nivea
  • Bottled water: Dasani
  • Coffee: Folgers
  • Cold & flu remedies: NyQuil
  • Cold cereal: Kellogg’s
  • Computer (desktop/laptop): Dell
  • Credit card: Visa
  • Cruise line: Carnival Corporation
  • Eye care product/eye health (excluding services, lenses and frames): Visine
  • Fast food/casual dining: McDonald’s
  • Facial moisturizer/cream: Olay
  • Hair color: L’Oreal
  • Headache/pain reliever: Tylenol
  • Herbal supplements/vitamins: Nature Made
  • Household air fresheners/deodorizers: Glade
  • Household cleaning product: Lysol
  • Investment firms: Fidelity
  • Juice: Tropicana
  • Small kitchen appliances (food processors, blenders, toasters, etc.): KitchenAid
  • Laundry detergent: Tide
  • Life insurance company: MetLife
  • Mass merchandiser retail store: Walmart
  • Mobile phones: Apple
  • Mouthwash: Listerine
  • National hotel chains/resorts: Hilton
  • National pharmacy/drug store: CVS Pharmacy
  • Nutrition bars: Nature Valley
  • Pet food: Purina (Pet/Dog/Cat/Puppy/Kitten Chow)
  • Salad dressing: Kraft
  • Soap/body wash: Dove
  • Soup: Campbell Soup
  • Weight loss systems: Weight Watchers
  • Wireless providers: Verizon
  • Yogurt: Yoplait

The survey first launched in Asia in 2000. Since then, it has grown into a global initiative spanning 25 countries, where it is used as an insightful tool to assess consumer insights and attitudes related to products, services and professions and to recognize the world’s most trusted brands.

The company awards the “Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand” title to winners in 40 product categories, including travel, food and beverage, automotive, beauty and healthcare, retail and customer service, financial services, household items, consumer electronics and more. In this year’s survey, more than half of participants responded that the “Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand” seal of approval would increase their likelihood of trusting a brand, and 49 percent are more likely to purchase its products or services. Due to consumer sentiment toward the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand certification, the number of winners incorporating the seal into their advertising campaigns has increased fourfold since the program’s inception in 2015. Ford, Toyota and Kellogg’s are among the brands that have previously incorporated their recognition as a Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand into their advertising. Only brands voted by America as Most Trusted are eligible for the certification program.

See the full list of Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands here.

These are findings from an Ipsos Connect study conducted for Reader’s Digest from November 15 to November 23, 2016. For the survey, a sample of 5,500 U.S. adults were interviewed online. The precision of online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 1.6 percentage points. The data was weighted to U.S. Census data by age, gender, income and geography. Winning brands were determined by absolute vote and confirmed to be statistically significant from the other brand(s). In any category where the winning brand was not significantly different from the other brands, a follow up question was asked to determine the brand winner.

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