Who Do You Trust?

Edelman released its annual Trust Barometer survey results in early February. I’m always fond of nicely defined and clearly labeled categories. Categories provide a nice heuristic for linking new information with what we already know.

Based on seven years of research, the agency is able to draw some conclusions and segment influencers into categories.

Trust Holders provides an overall umbrella term under which several categories fall. Each category has a distinct way in which they “form or share opinions and how they act on trust in brands.”

From Richard Edelman’s 6 a.m. blog:

There are Public Activists who engage in outspoken public actions, Social Connectors who share, seek and value public opinions, Solo Actors who take personal action and the Uninvolved whose opinion of brands is not driven by trust reputation. We see that different spokespeople and media will reach these segments; for example, a Social Connector responds best to peers, employees and friends and family.

(Click on the image for a larger view)

I like it! I can easily see how most people I know would fit into one of these categories and even where I fit (I’d say I’m a social connector). I can also see how you could use this information to help your clients understand the importance of trust in the marketplace and that to build and maintain that trust you have to be consistent, but think about different channels, different spokespeople and different media to help get your messages across.

Read the full report and media coverage here.

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