Trust – A fundamental value

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While this chart from YaleGlobal was used in a different context, the information contained in it struck me from the point of view of my recent conversations on global brands, interpreting value across cultures and emerging markets.

It measures the level of trust that the surveyed population in the selected countries have in global companies. As always, it is the outliers who are interesting to study first and the first thing that struck me was that Russians have the lowest percentage of total trust in a global company. This factoid directly helps to make sense of some of the recent stories I’ve posted about – on MTS, the mobile service provider and their rebranding effort and on Dove’s advertising campaign, both in Russia.

Similarly, look at China, almost the exact opposite proportion claim higher total trust in a global company. One wonders if this is why they’ve embraced Walmart far more successfully than efforts in Germany or Korea? And why the backlash for the KFC ad campaign was more muted than the Russian one? But if you look closely you’ll note that China also has the highest percentage of people in the ‘gray middle’ between "total trust" and "total no trust" – any ideas why?

Mind you, this is all conjecture here, sitting at my desk, playing games with pretty patterns and statistics – and we all know what they say about statistics – but there’s definitely some food for thought here and I’m going to go digging for more information about this study.

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