According to the Edelman 2015 Trust Barometer there has been a global decline in trust in business over the last year, and the number of countries with trusted institutions has fallen to an all-time low among the informed public. This is based on an online survey that was conducted in late 2014, sampling 27,000 general population respondents, aged 25-64 across 27 markets.

In the last year, trust has declined for three of the four institutions measured. NGOs continue to be the most trusted institution, but trust in NGOs declined from 66 to 63 percent. Sixty percent of countries now distrust media. Trust in government increased slightly, but is still distrusted in 19 of the 27 markets surveyed. And trust in business is below 50 percent in half of those markets

Most trusted are friends and family at 72%, followed by academic experts at 70%. Less than 50% trust business. Businesses in Sweden, Canada, Germany and Switzerland are the most trusted.

According to the survey:

  • 80% of Consumers will buy products from a company it trusts
  • 63% said they refused to purchase a product or service because they distrusted a particular company
  • 68% will recommend a company they trust to a friend or colleague
  • 54% will pay more for products from a company they trust
  • 48% will share positive opinions online
  • 40% will defend businesses they trust.

Engagement and integrity are viewed as priorities for building trust. Building trust is essential to successfully bringing new products and services to market, and building trust in new business innovations requires that companies demonstrate clear personal and societal benefits, behave with integrity and engage with customers and stakeholders throughout the process.

All this brings me to my point. A properly executed sponsorship can have a major impact on how consumers view (trust) a particular company. By providing opportunities for companies to align their brand with your property, creating positive audience experiences around your integrated brands and establishing opportunities for these sponsors to engage with your audiences through various forms of activation, you can have a major impact on that company’s positioning in the marketplace, and ultimately their business. Most importantly, your audiences are more likely to purchase a company’s products and pass on their positive opinions about that company to their family and friends.

As sponsorship professionals, we must do a better job at:

  • Building our brand (sponsorship property) to ensure it is one that companies want to be associated with;
  • Providing opportunities for companies to leverage their association with your brand through effective communications; and,
  • Encouraging sponsors to engage audiences and contribute to the overall experience of audiences participating in your programs, events or other activities.

We need to move beyond just providing awareness building activities for our sponsors to a more meaningful level of involvement where our audiences develop a higher level of trust in our sponsors through association, engagement and activation. When all these elements come together, your customers will appreciate sponsor involvement, look more favourably on companies that support your activities and tell their friends about it; and in today’s marketing environment, it doesn’t get any better.

Later, BC

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