• Edelman study: The trust factor is decisive for 83% of Germans when it comes to making purchases.
  • Less than one-quarter of Germans (23%) currently have trust in most of the brands they buy or use.
  • One in three German consumers believes that brand companies have better ideas than politics for solving social problems.
  • Brands do not take things seriously enough: the majority of Germans (57%) are critical of the fact that too many brands use social issues as marketing ploys.

Trust in a brand is decisive for more than four out of five Germans when it comes to making purchases. Accordingly, trust in brands (83%) is practically equivalent to the significance of product features such as benefits (87%), quality (87%), ingredients (86%) and intrinsic value (86%). This is indicated by the latest data in the Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 Special Report “In Brands We Trust?”, in which Edelman surveyed 16,000 people in eight markets – including 2,000 consumers in Germany – on their trust in brands and the influence trust in brands has on their purchasing behaviour.

A significant imbalance is apparent: although trust is attributed great importance for personal purchasing decisions, fewer than one-quarter of consumers (23%) in Germany indicate that they currently trust most of the brands they buy or use. From a world-wide perspective, this view is shared by around one-third of consumers (34%).

Brands fail to exploit opportunities 

34% of Germans rely on brands for socio-political solutions and are even of the opinion that brands have better ideas for the problems prevailing in Germany than does the government – with a rising tendency. Three percentage points more than in the previous year. “Brands must use their position to press ahead into this gap in trust. Those who honour leaps of faith are rewarded by consumers. Many brands are not however currently prepared for this mutual level of trust”, claims Britta Heer, Managing Director Brand Marketing at Edelman Deutschland. 

Consumers demand that brands take a stand

52% of Germans are of the opinion that each brand should assume social responsibility and be involved in at least one social issue which is not directly related to its actual line of business. A similar result can also be seen at global level (53%). At the same time, however, only 16% of German consumers in Germany have had the experience to date that brand companies keep an eye on the interests of society. More than half (57%) of German consumers are critical that too many companies use social issues merely as marketing vehicles.

The unexploited potential in terms of brand trust can be translated into numbers: when Germans trust a brand, they are twice as likely to stay loyal to this brand for a long time (62%) and to advocate for these brands (44%).
“Marketing decision-makers are now obliged to take the next big step. They should rethink and anchor trust in their marketing strategy”, says Britta Heer.

About the Edelman Trust Barometer

The Edelman Trust Barometer is an annual study on trust in governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), business and media, which was conducted for the 19th time this year. The survey was developed by the market research company Edelman Intelligence and data was collated using 30-minute online interviews. The survey period ran from 19 October to 16 November 2018. More than 33,000 people in 27 markets were surveyed for the Edelman Trust Barometer 2019, including 6,000 people representing the informed public (aged 25 to 64 with a university qualification, above-average household income among the top 25% and with intensive media and information consumption). Further information 


About the Edelman Trust Barometer 2019 Special Report: In Brands We Trust?

For the special “In Brands We Trust?” report, Edelman surveyed 16,000 people aged 18+ in the eight markets of Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, the UK and the USA on their trust in brands and how brand trust influences purchasing conduct. The core survey was also supplemented by a mobile survey analysing 8,000 individual consumer interactions with brand messages. At the same time, Edelman conducted a brief survey among young adults (aged 18 to 34) in China, the UK and the USA in order to depict the role of online influencers when developing trust in brands.