Trust In Advertising Rising, Nielsen Data Finds

Consumers participating in a study fielded in December 2021 said they evaluate multiple sources of information along their purchase journey to evaluate a brand’s trustworthiness -- such as reviews and word of mouth -- but they mainly consider the brands’ advertisements when making a decision to purchase a product or service.

Nielsen’s recently released U.S. Trust in Advertising study found that consumers are resistant to begin a relationship with a new brand. The research aggregates comments from about 2,000 U.S. consumers.

Findings from the study show that 85% of consumer purchases in more than 80 categories involved a brand the consumer had tried in the past. So how do brands get consumers to try their products for the first time?

The data shows that consumers think ads that appear in newspapers or before movies are the most trustworthy, and certain industries are trusted more than others.

Despite the proliferation of consumer choice, consumers are not inclined to begin a relationship with a new brand.



In high-consideration categories, with purchase decisions that take more than a week, 75% of consumers still buy from a brand they have bought from in the past.

Among U.S. consumers, 22% said they are not trying new brands because they feel either concerned or nervous during the purchase process.

That’s double the level of anxiety consumers feel when they re-purchase a brand they have bought in the past, at 11%.

When cost is a factor, consumers are more anxious, such as when buying technology, automobile, or having to deal with financial services.

Brands need to build trust. People who consider a new brand are 25% more likely than the average consumer to describe their ideal brand relationship as one that includes trust.

The study suggesting building trust by giving consumers the ability to evaluate multiple sources of information along their purchase journeys.

It's important to build reviews and recommendations by word of mouth. Only 18% of consumers trying a new brand recall using reviews in their journey.

Ads are cited more often than reviews or recommendations as useful or influential resources along the journey. Some 30% used recommendations and 45% say they found advertising useful or influential.

Ad placements matter, so marketers should invest in things like sponsorships, newspaper ads, and ads before movies. These were the ads that were cited as being most trustworthy.

Ads that appeared in mobile text, online banners or social media were viewed as less trustworthy. Influencers that blend elements of sponsorship and social were seen as about average, relative to other marketing investments

Certain industries are trusted more than others. Political, pharmaceutical and financial-services advertising were viewed as the least trusted. 

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