A study has found that Canadian consumers' trust in big brands dropped during the pandemic as they feel companies’ values no longer aligned with their own.
The Gustavson Brand Trust Index by the University of Victoria looked at consumer trust and factors that affect it.
The study says Air Canada, which experienced a rise in trust in early 2020, saw a decline overall after it failed to issue customer refunds and promoted travel during the pandemic.
It also found that Canadians have a high ability to detect whether a brand demonstrates a short-lived act of compassion to take advantage of the pandemic.
Early in the pandemic, many grocery chains offered employees hazard pay, only to discontinue it months later.
The study also found that media brands, such as Global, CBC and CTV, saw an early increase in trust, but then lost ground as the pandemic wore on.
The 2021 Gustavson Brand Trust Index surveyed 8,975 Canadians about 400 brands in 33 categories. The most trusted brands include:
- Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
- President’s Choice
- Costco Wholesale
- Home Hardware
- Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC)
- Quaker Oats
- Lactalis Canada
- Canadian Tire