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Adobe survey reveals link between brand trust and consumer buying

by Helen J. Wolf
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Adobe has released the results of a survey of more than 1,000 Australian consumers and 200 senior business leaders, showing a strong correlation between brand trust and consumer behavior.

Of Australian consumers, 54% say they will stop buying brands that damage their trust, with a majority (72%) planning to spend at least $700 more each year on trusted brands compared to the global average of 60%.

When asked whether digital or in-person experiences are more important for building trust, only 16% of Australian consumers preferred digital experiences, compared to more than a third of APAC consumers (35%). This compares to 32% saying personal experiences are more important to enable trust and 48% say both are equally important.

Adobe president Simon Tate said: “The importance of digital experiences to a trusted exchange has become more acute, and much is at stake. If done right, many consumers will reward brands with loyalty and spending. When trust is breached, most consumers walk away permanently.”

Adobe survey reveals link between brand trust and consumer buying

Despite the importance of building consumer trust, the senior business leaders interviewed by Adobe suggest gaining trust is becoming increasingly difficult. Eight in ten (81%) say it has gotten more difficult since the start of the pandemic.

Tate says: “The experiences of Australian consumers over the past two years and the emergence of the digital economy combine to shift the fundamental drivers of brand trust. Trust is more dependent than ever on the ability of brands to make a positive impact, use data responsibly, and deliver digital experiences on customer terms.”

Thomas Barta, the co-author of the groundbreaking leadership book The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader and a leading marketing leadership thinker, says Australian companies face a double challenge.

Better personalization and privacy may sound like competing goals, but they don’t have to be. Barta says: “Customers enjoy a personalized experience but worry about sharing their data. As Adobe’s latest research shows, Leading marketers already deliver highly personalized customer experiences while using customer data responsibly.”

He says: “When it comes to data privacy, the top spot for a company that does exceptionally well is still up for grabs. To get there, customers aren’t asking too much. 83% of Australian consumers want to decide how companies, 86% wanted more transparency, and 63% asked that companies only use their data for what matters: improving the customer experience.”

In bridging the data trust gap, brands’ use of personal data is a major cause of mistrust among Australian consumers.

The survey shows that 74% are concerned about using their data, and 50% of consumers believe that the benefits of providing their data to companies outweigh the risks.

Most consumers also say they will stop buying brands when faced with data management failures. This includes 70% who would stop buying from a company using their data without permission and 66% who would do the same if they experienced a data breach.

Despite this clear message from consumers, 94% of Australian leaders believe consumers trust that they keep their data safe and use it responsibly, and 79% say the benefits customers receive from companies that collect their data outweigh the risks.

Technology also plays an important role in building trust. Australian consumers outline several factors that can increase and decrease their faith in brands and improve the digital experience, with technology playing a prominent role.

Half of those surveyed say their trust in brands increases when technology is used to personalize their experience. However, 76% say poor personalization erodes trust, with top examples like scarily contacting me and ignoring their preferences.

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