Marks and Spencer and retailer rivals top list of most trusted brands

Marks and Spencer tops the list of the UK’s most trusted brands, just one of seven retailers in the top ten, according to a new report.

The venerable clothes and food retailer is followed by John Lewis, Tesco, Boots and the Co-operative, with cool high-tech brands such as Amazon and Apple in close pursuit.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the survey, which was carried out by Lansons Communications and Opinium Research, is the remaining high levels of trust in high street banks, with Barclays, HSBC, Nationwide, Lloyds TSB and NatWest all in the top 20.

With everyone saying the banks’ names are mud, you’d have thought they wouldn’t have got anywhere near the top of the rankings. Presumably it just shows the effects of familiarity and regular contact between consumer and brand.

Yet the most interesting finding — and the most worrying for brand marketers and agencies — is the number of people who displayed little confidence in companies as whole.

Out of the 3,000 respondents in the survey, only 52 per cent said they trust any brand. 17 per cent said they don’t really trust companies any more while a third said that “trust” was the wrong word to use in association with companies.

It’s just as well that the current fashionable concepts in marketing are all about getting consumers to engage with and enjoy brands. It looks as if there’s still plenty of work to do on this front.

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About David O'Reilly

David is a former deputy editor of Campaign and writer for a number of leading titles including Management Today and the Sunday Times. He is a partner in The Editorial Partnership.