Trust in brands drives consumer spending finds Adobe’s latest study

Simon Tate, President, APAC at Adobe

Adobe announced results from a study of over 1,000 Aussie consumers and 200 business leaders, which finds a correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour. 54% say they will stop purchasing from brands that break their trust, while 72% plan to spend at least $700 more each year with trusted brands compared to the global average of 60%. 

What is the role of digital experience in brand trust?

When asked whether they consider digital or in-person experiences to be more important in driving trust, 16% of Aussie consumers favoured digital experiences, compared to over a third of APAC consumers (35%). This compares to 32% who say that in person experiences are more important as trust enablers, and 48% that say that both are equally important.

“The importance of digital experiences to a trust exchange has come into sharper focus. Done right, consumers will reward brands with loyalty and spend. When trust is broken, most consumers will walk away permanently,” says Simon Tate, President, APAC, Adobe.

Despite the importance of building trust with consumers, majority of the senior business leaders interviewed by Adobe suggest that earning trust is increasingly tricky, with eight in ten (81%) saying that it has become even harder since the onset of the pandemic.  

“Consumers’ experiences and rise of the digital economy are combining to shift the fundamental drivers of brand trust. Trust now relies on brands’ ability to make a positive impact, use data responsibly and deliver digital experiences on customers’ terms,” says Tate.

How do consumers feel about sharing their data?

Thomas Barta, co-author of path-breaking leadership book ‘The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader’ and one of the world’s foremost thinkers on the subject of marketing leadership, said Australian businesses are facing a dual challenge. “Customers enjoy a personalised experience but worry about the sharing their data. Better personalisation and privacy may sound like competing targets but it doesn’t have to be that way,” commented Barta.

“As Adobe’s latest research reveals, leading marketers are already providing highly personalised customer experiences, while using customer data responsibly,” said Barta.

“When it comes to data privacy, the top spot for a firm doing it exceptionally well, is still up for grabs. To get there, clients don’t ask for too much. 83% of Aussie consumers want to decide how firms used their data. 86% desire more transparency, and 63% asked that firms use their data only for what really matters: making the customer experience better.”

Bridging the data trust gap

Brands’ use of personal data is a key driver of mistrust among Aussie consumers. The study reveals that 74% are concerned with how their data is being used and 50% of consumers believe the benefits of providing their data to companies are greater than the risks.

Most consumers say they’ll stop purchasing from brands if they experience data governance failures. This includes 70% who would stop purchasing from a company that used their data without permission and 66% who would do the same if they experienced a data breach.

Despite this clear message from consumers, 94% of Australian leaders surveyed believe consumers trust them to keep their data safe and use it responsibly, and 79% say the benefits customers receive from companies collecting their data outweigh the risks.

The role of technology in engendering trust

Australian consumers outline a number of factors that can both increase and decrease their trust in brands and enhance the digital experience, with technology playing a prominent role.

Half of the surveyed consumers say their trust in brands increases when technology is used to personalise their experience. However, 76% say poor personalisation erodes trust, with top examples including ‘contacting me in a creepy way’ and ignoring their preferences.

You can download the full Adobe Trust Report 2022: APAC report here.