Corporate Eye

It’s Not Just BP That Consumers Don’t Trust

bp_signBP has been investing a lot of money into advertising and marketing efforts to rebuild it’s reputation after one of the biggest oil spills in history brought the company under massive global scrutiny.  While initial results from the effort seemed positive, a new study tells a different story.

According to a June 2010 survey by The Economist and YouGov, American’s don’t trust BP. 

Here are the results when respondents were asked whether or not they trust BP to “do the right thing in stopping the oil spill and cleaning it up”:

  • 27% have no trust in BP at all.
  • 24% have very little trust in BP.
  • 24% have only some trust in BP.
  • 13% have quite a bit of trust in BP.
  • 6% have a great deal of trust in BP.

Interestingly, a Rasmussen Reports poll tells us that BP is not alone in its position as an oil brand and company that American consumers don’t trust. 

According to that survey:

  • 41% had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Exxon.
  • 43% had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Chevron.
  • 47% had a very or somewhat favorable opinion of Shell.

A CBS News and New York Times poll seems to support those findings. 

According to that survey:

  • 38% say they trust oil companies to act in the best interest of the public “not at all.”
  • 36% say they trust oil companies to act in the best interest of the public “not much.”
  • 24% say they trust oil companies to act in the best interest of the public “some.”
  • 2% say they trust oil companies to act in the best interest of the public “a lot.”

The statistics reported in these surveys are a red flag for any company.  The question is how oil companies will respond not only to appease consumer fears and lack of trust but also in changing their business practices to actually earn that brand trust.  Now is the time.  Afterall, 2010 is the year of brand transparency, honesty and trust.

Do you think they can (or will) do it?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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