Study Ranks Canada’s Most Trusted Brands

A new study out of the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria ranks Canada’s most trusted brands, and a number of them are either retailers, or offer a product/service used by retailers. 

The third annual study highlights how community engagement, relationship management, and the customer experience that brands offer consumers influence their overall trust. A total of 6,560 consumers were asked to score 294 Canadian companies and brands. The study measures the performance of brands and companies in 26 industry sectors on a range of brand value measures. 

“Trust plays a vital role in our community, economy, and collective mindshare as Canadians,” says Saul Klein, dean of the Gustavson School of Business. “We have witnessed multiple breakdowns in trust over the past year, which we see reflected in our research. This year’s ranking confirms a decline in consumer trust amongst companies that have faced service mishaps in the past year.”

The most trusted brand was retail cooperative MEC (aka Mountain Equipment Co-op), which also ranked top in last year’s study. The 2017 top 10 list includes the following, with last year’s ranking in brackets: 

  1. MEC (1)
  2. Canadian Automobile Association – CAA (New)
  3. Costco Wholesale (3)
  4. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (8)
  5. IKEA (22)
  6. Chapters/Indigo (59)
  7. President’s Choice (1)
  8. Interac (11)
  9. Cirque du Soleil (New)
  10. WestJet (54)

Costco Wholesale ranked third in the study — the warehouse club is immensely popular in Canada, with about twice the store penetration per capita when compared to that of the United States. Swedish home furnishings retailer Ikea saw a jump from 22 to 5th place between 2016 and 2017, and Chapters/Indigo books also saw an impressive gain from the year prior. Loblaw private label President’s Choice saw a drop from first place to 7th between 2016 and 2017, and payment processor Interac saw a jump from 11th spot in 2016 to the 8th most trusted brand this year. 

The Gustavson Brand Trust Index was established to raise awareness of the role trust plays in the minds of consumers when making purchasing decisions and measures the relationships between social equity, trust, and advocacy for brands in Canada. The initiative highlights Gustavson’s goal of educating and championing responsible leadership. 

For more information on the study, visit:

Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: July 18, 2017

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Now located in Toronto, Craig is a retail analyst and consultant at the Retail Council of Canada. He's also the Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for the past 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees. He is also President & CEO of Vancouver-based Retail Insider Media Ltd.

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