CAA dethrones MEC in annual ranking of Canada’s most trusted brands

Mountain Equipment Co-op lowered to second most trusted brand in Canada for 2018.
Mountain Equipment Co-op lowered to second most trusted brand in Canada for 2018. The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward

The annual Gustavson Brand Trust Index released its latest results on Tuesday morning, placing the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) as the most trusted brand in Canada for this year and taking the trophy away from Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC).

MEC has held first place for the last two years running.

The index, produced by The Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria (UVic), lists almost 300 brands in the survey, asking 6,000 consumers across Canada to weigh in.

LISTEN : What brands do Canadians trust the most?

“We asked them overall to what extension did they trust this brand,” David Dunn, a professor at UVic and one of the lead researchers of the survey, said. “Does the brand align with your values and would you recommend this brand to others.”

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Dunn joined CKNW’s The Jon McComb show on Tuesday to discuss the paper and explained consumers were asked to rate a company based on three types of trust.

If the company the provided “good quality products” and “value for money,” if the brand “treated its customers well” and if the values of the company matched with the consumer.

READ MORE: MEC reviewing relationship with brands owned by U.S. gun manufacturer amid public backlash

Canada’s 10 most trusted brands

  1. Canadian Automobile Association (CAA/BCAA)
  2. Mountain Equipment Coop
  3. Costco Wholesale
  4. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  5. IKEA
  6. CBC News
  7. Shoppers Drug Mart /Pharmaprix
  8. Home Depot
  9. Marriott Hotels
  10. WestJet

Dunn said there wasn’t much of a difference between CAA and MEC if you compared 2018 with 2017, calling it pretty much “a marginal call” as to which one ends up on top.

He said the reason why MEC placed second might be because of might be things that were in the news recently. The company made headlines over a decision to drop products made by a U.S. gun manufacturer in February.

“But the CAA has worked steadily to build its brand over the past many decades so it’s not surprising that they came pretty close to the top,” he said.

Dunn explained he makes the information available to show Canadian consumers and manufacturers that responsible management actually matters, not just living up to business’ promises and treating people well, but also being sustainable and looking after employees.

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READ MORE: Ottawa probing Tim Hortons for potentially violating terms of 2014 takeover

“One great example is if you look at Tim Hortons who was number one four years ago, [they] are now number 203,” he said. “And pretty much all of that happened this year because around the time of the survey there was a big scandal over Tim Hortons mistreating its employees.”

Dunn said the information provided can act as an important message for businesses and a good way for people to think about brands.


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