Ipsos Corporate Reputation

The Business of Trust

Is trust in companies at an all-time low?

"I can tell you in emerging markets the trust in companies is much greater, because sometimes the government doesn’t exist locally or to a very limited extent, so the only one who can actually make a change is the company."

Three in five Reputation Council members tend to ignore conventional wisdom and disagree with this claim. This matches Ipsos’ own evidence that the ‘trust crisis’ has been overstated, and that levels of goodwill towards business vary across the globe and between generations. However, there’s no complacency among Council members – trust is still too low.

Will trust in companies be much higher in five years’ time?

One in three Council members foresee an upswing in trust; either because businesses’ greater commitment to their societal obligations will pay off, or because the public will come to view corporates more positively, in comparison with the struggling political classes. But a greater proportion of members – two in five – don’t see enough evidence, yet, of a significant surge in trust.

"Because of polarisation and politicisation. It’s easier to highlight wrongdoing or call ‘gotcha’. There are so many voices right now and so much anti-corporate bias."

Does my company’s reputation affect our financial results?

Eight in ten Council members agree that reputation impacts the bottom line. For many, a causal link to sales or share price is difficult to evidence. But in terms of consumer preference, stakeholder support and the battle for talent – all of which drive commercial success – members see a strong reputation as critical.

"We talk about it as: our reputation is something that will enable us to deliver strong financial results. It’s hard to draw a direct correlation, but there’s no doubt that it’s a factor."

Methodology: 154 interviews conducted with Reputation Council members between 25th June and 12th November 2018.

Read more from the Reputation Council...

Read more from the Ipsos Corporate Reputation Team...

Reputation Council Quickfire Survey: Members’ Perspectives on ESG

Our Quickfire surveys provide us with fast views and responses on the world’s most pressing issues.

Reputation Council Quickfire Survey: Perspectives on COVID-19

Our Quickfire surveys provide us with fast views and responses on the world’s most pressing issues.