NEW research from the international institute AccountAbility and the National Consumer Council has revealed the Co-op as the most trusted brand in the eyes of consumers.
The research shows that the Co-operative Group is trusted more than any other high street operator. Marks & Spencer came second with The Body Shop, John Lewis and Tesco in third, fourth and fifth places.
"Tesco's motto of 'every little helps' appears spot on, but help for whom and in what regard? What's clear is that the Co-op has a much better handle on what consumers consider 'fair to me and fair to others'. Price and customer service are key, but increasingly important too is how retailers are fair to their own employees or communities," says AccountAbility director Philip Monaghan.
The research – part of an independent survey undertaken by Globescan last month – aimed to discover what assures the public in their decision-making on purchases with a view to building practices that both empower consumers and also strengthen corporate performance.
This ranking was based on a 'net trust' rating – that is a 'most trusted' score minus a 'most distrusted' score. As expected, issues such as familiarity, a fair price and product/service quality are fundamentals for trusted companies. Key differentiators in terms of trust for the Co-op Group related to the environment and treatment of employees.
Chief Executive Martin Beaumont commented: "The research provides further evidence that 'ethical' consumerism, is moving into the mainstream as consumers become more willing to deal with companies based on how responsible they are."
"Research we have conducted in conjunction with our new brand identity clearly shows how by using the words 'The co-operative' we are making a statement about the organisation which connects with our members and customers and clearly communicates that we take a straightforward, open and honest approach to business."