When asked to rate various sources of information as trustworthy, 60 per cent of people chose the “person like myself” response, up from 37 per cent in 2011. That translates to a rise from seventh position to third. Meanwhile, CEOs fell from third to sixth (from 58 per cent to 46 per cent).
“A lot of brands in Asia have an awful lot of people working for them, and people tend to forget that the best brand advocates are those that work for the company,” Brain said.
“When people are just putting up a property, and not actually responding to what people are saying, that’s not engagement,” he said, pointing to a portion of the survey that looks at gaps between expectations for companies and their actual performance meeting those expectations.
For the region as a whole, there are large gaps between expectations and performance on factors such as how well companies listen to customer needs and feedback, whether they take responsible action to address issues and crises, and how well they treat employees.
As reported previously, the latter issue is becoming an increasingly important way that people measure the brands they consume. The Trust Barometer Index covers a wide range of consumer attitudes toward businesses, governments, the media, and non-government organizations, both for the region as a whole and in individual countries. The study was conducted in 25 countries, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.
Other key findings, according to Edelman, include:
- People in Asia Pacific are more likely than people in other regions to trust business and government leaders to tell the truth.
- While traditional media is the most trusted source of information, online sources and social media are catching up quickly, with a percentage increase in 27 per cent and 89 per cent respectively.
- People in Asia Pacific need to hear information three to five times in order to believe it.