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Study reveals Canada's most trusted brands during pandemic
The Canadian flag flies outside the prime minister's office in West Block during a cabinet meeting in Ottawa, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Adrian Wyld)
TORONTO -- Canadians have been losing faith in brands for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated that erosion of trust, according to a new study.
The latest edition of the University of Victoria's Gustavson Brand Trust Index surveyed thousands of Canadians about their trust levels with well-known Canadian brands.
The study is normally only conducted once a year, in January and February. This year, a follow-up survey was done in April to measure the effects of the pandemic on Canadians' feelings about brands. Results from both surveys were made public on Monday.
The follow-up survey found that Canada Post has been the most-trusted brand in Canada during the pandemic, followed by Shoppers Drug Mart/Pharmaprix and CTV News, with Costco and The Weather Network tied for fourth place.
At the other end of the spectrum, Facebook, Craigslist and Snapchat were found to be the least-trusted brands in the country. Lysol and Clorox both lost trust during the pandemic, potentially because their products were hard to find in stores at times, Gustavson School of Business dean Saul Klein said in a press release.
The follow-up survey asked 1,050 Canadians their thoughts on 105 different brands, while the initial survey covered 7,800 Canadians and 342 brands.
In the larger survey, outdoor lifestyle retailer MEC and the Canadian Automobile Association were tied for most-trusted, followed by Costco and Dyson.
Klein said the average brand trust scores recorded this year represent an "all-time low" for the survey, which began in 2015.
He suggested this reflects growing skepticism on the part of consumers, especially during the pandemic, arguing that Canadians are now monitoring their spending more closely as well as closely watching companies to try and assess their values.
Other findings of the survey include that millennials are less trusting of brands in general than other age groups but more likely to trust those brands that clearly contribute to addressing societal issues, trust in the hotel industry has been falling steadily since 2018, and food and drug retail is now the most trusted sector of the 27 included in the survey.