They've Gotta Believe: What Makes Consumers Suspicious Of Brands

Support for federal privacy legislation has fallen to 65%, down from 80% in Q1 2020. But consumers remain wary of brands that ask for too much information or send email based on unshared data, according to the Consumer Data Trust Index, an ongoing study by Jebbit.

The respondents identified the following top trust busters: 

  • Brands asking for too much information—34.6%
  • Public data scandal—21.1%
  • Experiencing “creepy” advertising—18.2%
  • Confusing privacy policies—14.6% 
  • Inaccurate information used in marketing to me—11.4%

The decline in support for a federal privacy bill could mean that “consumers believe existing regulations are su!cient, that actions taken by brands such as Apple & Google will have the necessary impact, or simply that they have other priorities,” the study posits. 



Misuse of email is a surefire way of eroding consumer trust.  

For instance, 54.2% say personalized emails based on unshared data decreases their trust in a brand. But 30.3% claim it increases trust, while 15.5% feel it has no effect. 

Basing emails even on shared data is no guarantee that they will engender trust. Of the consumers polled, 33.6% say it will reduce trust, while 38.9% feel it will boost it.  Another 27.5% believe there will be no effect.  

Moreover, 30.1% feel generic emails increase trust, 34% that they decreases it and 35.9% that there is no effect. The survey concludes “brands are better off sending generic emails over personalized emails based on data consumers haven’t knowingly shared.” 

As for personalized ads based on unshared data, 52.2% state they decreased trust, 28.2% that they increase it and 19% say they have no effect. 

On a more positive note, 42% say conversational tools that provide personalized recommendations increase trust, and 21.6% say they have the opposite effect. And 36.4% feel there is no difference.  

Despite controversy about big technology companies and privacy, consumers still trust them. In Q2, here are the top consumer data trust ratings, reflecting scores of one to 10:

  1. Amazon—7.05
  2. Adidas—7.03
  3. Netflix—6.89
  4. Google—6.83
  5. Samsung—6.79 
  6. CVS Health—6.79 
  7. IBM—6.71
  8. Microsoft—6.70
  9. Intel—6.69
  10. Nintendo—6.69 

Amazon has retained the top spot for the fourth time in a row. 

At the bottom of the list of 100 is Anheuser-Busch. 

Here is the average rating by industry: 

  1. Technology—6.52 
  2. QSR & Restaurants—6.45 
  3. Automotive—6.44
  4. Multi-purpose retail—6.41
  5. Sports & Entertainment—6.35
  6. Apparel, Footwear & Accessories—6.34
  7. Fast-moving consumer goods—6.35
  8. D2C (cross-industry)—6.29
  9. Travel & Hospitality—6.26
  10. Beauty—6.18
  11. Food, Beverage & Spirits—5.89

Jebbet surveyed 1,000 consumers. 

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