Posts Tagged ‘Apple’



Ask most Americans which companies they trust and the same names will surface: Apple, Google, Amazon, and maybe even Walmart.

But when pressed as to why, the answer is usually something like this:

  • I trust Apple because they have innovative products.
  • I trust Google because their search feature is easy to use.
  • I trust Amazon to deliver my packages very quickly.
  • I trust Walmart to have the lowest prices.

So does this mean these companies should be trusted? Sounds more to me like we are talking about customer loyalty or brand loyalty and not so much about trust.

In fact, many would argue that these four are far from trustworthy.  Just ask Apple’s factory workers, Google’s privacy critics, Amazon’s publishers or Walmart’s suppliers what they think.

So let’s not generalize the word “trust.” If we are going to talk about it, we need to clarify what we really mean!

Earlier today I read the following article about how IBM can help Apple with its trust issues. It sheds a bit more light on the confusion between brand loyalty and trust.

And my friend Charlie Green recently wrote this blog post called If Trust Is So Far Down, How Come– which confirms the need to use the correct terminology.

What do you think? Do we have a definitional issue, and if so, how do we overcome it?

Barbara Brooks Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America-Trust Around the World whose mission is to help organizations build trust. She is also the editor of the award winning TRUST INC. book series. In 2012 Barbara was named “One of 25 Women Changing the World” by Good Business International.

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Should you wish to communicate directly with Barbara, drop her a note at

Copyright © 2014, Next Decade, Inc.



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Earlier this week I was given a gift, the opportunity to chat about trust with 150 very smart college kids, members of the millennial generation. 

A small group met for dinner before class, including two international students who shared their stories about trust and cultural differences. For example, in some countries it is impolite to make eye contact with someone who is older. This is viewed as disrespectful and untrustworthy. Imagine walking into a job interview in the US and being unwilling to make eye contact with the interviewer!

We began our class discussion by asking three questions but ran short on time before the third topic.

Question #1: Whom do you trust the most?

Answer #1: Family- Mother, father and siblings. We discussed the special bonds among family members that create trustworthy relationships and how these same characteristics translate into larger organizations.

  1. Familiarity
  2. Longevity
  3. Common values
  4. Having “your back”
  5. Culture

Question #2: What company do you trust the most?

Answer #2: Google and Apple- The water became a bit murky as the students  explored differences between “liking a product” and “trusting a company” and between consumer perceptions and organizational trustworthiness.

We discussed the lack of transparency at these particular companies and the chapter in our book Trust Inc., addressing Apple as a case study in trust. Several students shared their strong beliefs about corporate responsibility vs. corporate window dressing.

The discussion then turned to:

Target’s security breach: The majority concluded that the breach will not inhibit them from shopping at Target.

Trust in government:  The students felt strongly that our government does a good job to protect its citizens. They accept that lying is the “norm” in politics. Many said they would vote for Chris Christie even if a determination is made that he lied about the lane closures in Fort Lee.

Wrapping up, we reminded the kids that they live in an era of radical transparency. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to hide bad behavior.

We emphasized the importance of entering the work force with not only a clean slate, but also knowledge of the importance of leading with trust.

Bottom line, the students were very engaged in the “trust conversation.”  Perhaps it should be held on more college campuses. What do you think?

Share your comments with me.

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