Reader’s Digest, one of America’s most trusted and respected media brands, has released its fourth annual Trusted Brand Survey, based on responses from more than 5,500 Americans across the country, awarding the publisher’s iconic “Trusted Brand” title to brands in 40 product categories.

Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand badgeThis year’s survey revealed that approximately half (48 percent) of respondents said the Reader’s Digest seal of approval increased their likelihood of trusting a brand, and 46 percent said they were more likely to purchase products or services using the seal.

Gaining consumer loyalty was found to be more vital than ever

Approximately three out of four (71 percent) of survey participants on average cite “trust” as important for their purchasing decision. Slightly more than eight out of ten (81 percent) consumers stated that “trust” is important in their purchasing decisions in categories such as health insurance and retirement services.

The survey also found that when a product or service’s quality and price are similar, 83 percent of consumers would buy from the company they “trust” more. However, the survey found that gaining consumer trust continues to be a challenge for brands and marketers, with roughly half (48 percent) of participants indicating they are less trusting of brands today. In fact, 69 percent of respondents agree with the statement that “brands need to do a better job of earning consumers’ trust.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

Trust outweighs product pricing

Seventy-one percent of consumers said they would pay more money to support a brand they trust.

Trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty

Eighty-two percent of survey respondents stated they tend to stick to the brands they trust the most.

Customer loyalty can be lost quickly

Sixty-eight percent of respondents agreed that even if a brand lets them down just once, it is hard for them to trust it enough to continue to purchase it in the future.

Millennials are more likely to engage with brands they trust

Sixty-nine percent of Millennials reported that they trust brands that value their contribution and feedback.

Millennials have high expectations of brands

Sixty-eight percent of Millennials feel that brands they use the most must make a real difference in their lives vs. 60 percent of overall participants who stated as such.

“Trust has always been one of the most essential values we maintain at Reader’s Digest,” said Lee Zellweger, Reader’s Digest publisher, in a news release. “This program enables us to understand how trust impacts consumer behavior and why it is critical that brands work diligently now more than ever to protect the trust they have built between themselves and their consumers.”

Zellweger adds that “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 Trusted Brands for 2018 are the following:

The Most Trusted Brands in America illustrate how much loyalty matters

The Most Trusted Brands in America illustrate how much loyalty matters

The Most Trusted Brands in America illustrate how much loyalty matters

Watch a slideshow with more about the winners here.

Since its launch in 2015, the number of winning products or services incorporating the seal into their advertising or marketing campaigns has increased fourfold. Only brands voted by Americans as “Most Trusted” are eligible for the certification program.

These findings are from an Ipsos Connect study conducted for Reader’s Digest from October 23 to November 8, 2017. For the survey, a sample of 5,502 U.S. adults were interviewed online. Winning brands were determined by absolute vote and confirmed to be statistically significant from the other brand(s). The highest brand is designated a category winner only if it is statistically significant at the 95 percent confidence level, when compared to the next highest brand.

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