Marriott finished at the top of the hotel category in a national survey and peer review effort measuring the trustworthiness of the nation’s largest brands in seven key industries. Hilton landed in second place, followed by Hyatt, Sheraton, Holiday Inn and Best Western.
The survey, which measured how well 40 of the largest U.S. brands connect with their customers, found that hotels and electronics are the country’s most trusted brand categories while auto insurers and mobile communications rank lowest on the public trust spectrum.
Building on The Values Institute's (TVI) five previous regional surveys, the 2017 National Most Trustworthy Brands Survey used a proprietary online survey developed by TVI and The Center for Brand Values Communication and Research at California State University, Fullerton (CBVCR) to rank the six largest national brands in seven key categories. TVI, a social science research entity based in Santa Ana, CA, calculated trust by looking at 25 trust dimensions in the five “macro” categories of Competence, Consistency, Connection, Candor and Concern. The national diagnostic survey measured brand strengths and weaknesses in each category, plus the trust outcomes of Loyalty, Advocacy and Satisfaction. There were over 1,400 respondents nationally in the survey supplied by Research Now, the official sample provider of Most Trustworthy Brands.
In addition to overall ranking, the survey found that consumers have similar trust in Marriott and Hilton. Comparatively, the two brands are not statistically significant in the areas of Consistency, Competence, Candor and Concern. Hilton outscores Marriott in the categories of Candor, Trust and Satisfaction.
The survey results show that consumers believe Marriott does a good job of executing its core values in taking care of its guests. They have a people-first culture that shows its commitment to its employees and their families. Marriott and Hilton brands were rated within the top three brands out of the 40 brands in the survey in the 18-34 and the 55+ age brackets.
“While this was the strongest category overall, it was essentially a two-horse race between Hilton and Marriott. They finished over 12 points ahead the others in the pack,” said Mark Weinfeld, research director at The Values Institute, in a written release. “The advancements the hotel category has made to ensure guest have no surprises from booking and check-in has boosted their level or transparency and thus their Candor scores. Just visit Hilton or Marriott websites and you’ll see exactly what you are going to get.”
A total of 40 major brands in fast food, airlines, mobile services, auto insurance, retail, hotels and electronics were measured. Other brands to receive most-trustworthy honors include Amazon (retail), Microsoft (electronics), Southwest (airlines), Marriot (Hotels), AT&T (mobile services) and Geico (auto insurance).
According to Jason Teven, Ed.D., professor of human communication studies at California State University, Fullerton, and CBVCR director, Amazon received the highest score overall and in the “joy” outcome categories of loyalty, satisfaction and trusty. “Amazon’s success in the joy categories is effectively the holy grail of brand ambassadorship. That’s because satisfied customers are much more likely to advocate for the brand they love, their products, services and website.”