Edelman 2019 Trust Barometer – Brand Trust Down, Influencer Trust Up

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Under a sunny French sky, Edelman unveiled the results of its annual Trust Barometer Special Report during the 65th Cannes Festival of Creativity. Their study – which monitors consumer trust among brands, governments and other organizations, as well as general trends in public relations – yielded some surprising insights maybe not too surprising to us – especially when it comes to influencer marketing).

Around the globe, consumer trust among brands continues to decline. In some countries, such as France and Germany, only 25 percent of consumers admit they trust the brands they purchase from. However, CEO Richard Edelman made special note on the power of tapping legitimate influencers.

Discussing this year’s results in an interview with Ad Age, Edelman stated, “Influencers matter. They’re credible,” making special note of influencers who have built strong followers based on their expertise. “Pay attention here: it’s not purchased influence, it’s earned influence.”

According to the study, 63 percent of consumers trust influencers’ opinions much more than what brands have to say about themselves. Not only that, but 58 percent of people who have bought a new product in the past six months did so because of an influencer’s recommendation.

Edelman was not alone in noting the growing power of influencers. During our recent visit to Cannes, we noticed that social media and influencer culture were especially hot topics. Pleasant, but unsurprising – in an age of trust-scarcity, influencers stand well above traditional celebrities by connecting with audiences using their authentic voices.  We’ve even said it before – trust is an influencer’s most valuable asset.

In fact, Edelman’s recent report revealed that brand trust was the fifth most important factor for purchase intent, even outranking positive product reviews.

Lastly, consumers scored relatability as twice as important as popularity when it comes to product endorsements, proving again why influencers are so effective at conveying brand messages in a way that feels authentic and drives results.

To download the full report, click here!