Posts Tagged ‘Google’



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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Barbara Kimmel Interviews Jim Gregory, CEO CoreBrand

Barbara Kimmel: Jim- tell us a bit about your background, qualifications and expertise. If you have written a book, please provide the title.

Jim Gregory: I am the CEO of CoreBrand. My company focuses on building corporate brands and we are pioneers in the measurement of corporate brands. We have a proprietary database know as the Corporate Branding Index® that includes 20 years of consistent research of 1000 companies across 54 industries. This allows us the unique ability to connect the corporate brand to market capitalization. I’ve written four books on the subject, the most recent being The Best of Branding.

Barbara Kimmel: Trust Across America’s mission is to rebuild trustworthy business behavior across the globe.  How would you generally define trustworthy business behavior? 

Jim Gregory: Trust is built through the process of consistently meeting the needs of your key constituencies over time. Each constituency views trust from their own perspective and their own needs. Understanding how trust is built is critical for creating corporate value.

Barbara Kimmel: In your opinion, what are some of the specific components of trustworthy business behavior?

Jim Gregory: There are three elements of trust that can be managed by a corporation.

1) Business Processes must be in alignment with the overall brand strategy.

2) The Culture and Behavior of the company must adhere to the brand guidelines.

3) The Communications, whether planned or unplanned, should consistently reflect the brand over time.

Barbara Kimmel: We all know that the erosion of corporate trust is a big problem. What are companies doing to combat this, and is it enough?

Jim Gregory: We know from our proprietary research and models that trust is directly related to brand power, which is directly connected to market capitalization. Education of management and consistently reinforcing the importance of trust is the best way to rebuild corporate brands.

Barbara Kimmel: Is the global “trust” climate improving or worsening? What actions will turn things around?

Jim Gregory: Trust in corporations has been declining since 2004. CoreBrand’s research of Corporate Brand Equity as a Percentage of Market Capitalization for the average Fortune 1000 company shows a decline from 7.4% in 2004 to 5% in 2012. We believe this decline is leveling off and we are hoping for a rebound in 2013.

Barbara Kimmel: Can you provide a few examples of companies that are doing the “right” thing in your opinion? What steps are being taken by these companies that sets them apart?

Jim Gregory: Google’s brand has been consistently growing for years. Now they are ranked as the number one company to work for, and they have great programs in place to support this ranking — that is consistency.

Barbara Kimmel: Anything else you would like to add as a closing comment?

Jim Gregory: CoreBrand tracks 1000 companies across 54 industries. If your company is one of them we have information to share with you. If it isn’t one of them we will consider adding your company to our research survey. Please let us know more about your corporate brand.  Our data can also be combined with Trust Across America’s FACTS® Report to provide further depth and perspective on the trustworthiness of our company.

Barbara Kimmel: Thank you Jim for your ongoing research on the construction and measurement of trustworthy brands.

Jim Gregory can be reached at

and more information about CoreBrand can be found at:

Do you have questions or comments? Email

Barbara Kimmel is the Executive Director of Trust Across America, global leaders in information, standards, data and Who’s Who in trustworthy business.


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