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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : April 29, 2016

Global study reveals 'authenticity deficit' among brands

A new report from Cohn & Wolfe finds that brands and companies are not seen as being open and honest by the majority of consumers.

by Helen Leggatt

In their survey of 12,000 consumers across 14 markets, Cohn & Wolfe found that just 22% overall agree brands and companies are open and honest. Attitudes vary considerably between countries. While the countries with the most positive perception of brands and companies are China and Indonesia, even in these places only 36% and 35% of respondents respectively feel brands are open and honest.

Sweden was the country whose respondents were the most negative (just 5% agreed that brands are open and honest) while the U.S. was in line with the global average with 23%.

Cohn & Wolfe dubs the phenomena an "authenticity deficit" and brands that suffer from this are risking loyalty and referrals. Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they would reward a brand for its authenticity, mostly by recommending that brand to others (52%) and remaining loyal to the brand (49%).

According to the study, authenticity depends on how much consumers perceive a brand to be:

- Reliable: delivering on promises; being high quality;
- Respectful: treating customers well; protecting customer privacy/data; and
- Real: communicating honestly; being genuine; and acting with integrity.

Tags: brand marketing, loyalty marketing, research

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