The 1st annual study by Environics Communications of Canadians’ trustin information sources,organizations and leaders
WHAT IS THE INDEX?
The Environics Communications 2016 CanTrust Index examines
the sources that Canadians trust for important information
as well as their trust in organizations and leaders to do what is right for
Canada and our society.
We examined several Canadian population segments
including Newcomers and Primary Shoppers.
WHO IS ENVIRONICS?
Environics Communications identifies and engages with audiences and
influencers to build trust in companies and brands.
Environics Communications is a leading Canadian integrated marketing
communications agency with approximately 130 team members in
offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Washington, DC.
This survey demonstrates our commitment to knowing Canadians.
The study is an online sample of 1,001 Canadians conducted between
February 29 to March 7, 2016. It is nationally representative by region, age and gender.
The subsample of Newcomers (with 15 or fewer years in Canada) was 151.
The subsample of Primary Shoppers was 562.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: TRUST
Canadians show highest levels of trust in not-for-profit organizations
(NFPs), followed by news media.
• We see about one-third unsure of whether they trust, or
distrust, various aspects of Canadian companies/organizations.
• For large corporations, there is a higher proportion who
‘trust very little’ (ratings of 1 out of 7).
Canadians place the most trust in their CEO, followed by their Mayor,
then the Prime Minister. There is no “Trudeau halo”.
• There’s an interesting overlap within groups that trust their CEO a
little and a lot, with home ownership a potential influencer of trust.
• Popular Mayors in Calgary and Toronto help boost the national score.
Newcomers show higher trust levels in large corporations, government
and political leaders.
• In this sub-sample we asked people who have lived in Canada for
15 years or less and compared responses against national averages.
Word of mouth, product sampling, editorial content and consumer
reviews yield the highest levels of trust among Canadians.
• Quebecers are less likely to trust word of mouth, and product sampling,
but have higher levels of trust for many other information sources.
Broadcasting, food retailers and banks are among the sectors/industries
that yield the most trust; however, almost one-third indicate no trust for all
• Quebecers have higher levels of trust in almost all industry sectors.
Social media platform firms and energy/pipeline companies are tied with
low levels of trust.
Canadians are more likely to trust an organization if it creates local jobs, if
they enjoy the company’s products or services, if open and accessible, and
if it is Canadian-owned.
• Canadians aged 50+ tend to place more importance on these
actions in determining their level of trust for them.
Three-quarters of Canadians deem it important for CEOs of companies to
be visible on social media.
• Canadians aged 50+ deem it very important.
• Primary Shoppers are more likely to say it’s not at all important.
Approximately four-in-five would prefer product verification by 3rd party
or government organizations, as a means to verify their quality promises.
• Newcomers are more likely to be in favour of verification.
Online reviews drive purchasing behaviour.
• About four in five Canadians check online reviews prior to
purchasing a product and almost all (90%) claim it impacts their
TRUST IN ORGANIZATIONS
▶ Self-identified Primary Shoppers are
more likely to be distrustful (22%)
▶ Newcomers are more likely to trust
large corporations (37%)
Canadians trust not-for-profits and news media
most to do what is right for Canada
Canadians place the most trust in the CEO
of their own organization
TRUST IN LEADERS
▶ Newcomers are more likely than the average to
trust their Premier (at 34%)
▶ Albertans, are more likely to trust their
Premier (41%), and Calgarians their Mayor (66%)
▶ Those with lower income ($15k-$25k) are less
likely to trust in general (at 46%)
Broadcasting, food retailers and banks among
the top trustworthy industries
TRUST IN INDUSTRY
▶ In general, Quebecers and Newcomers are
more trusting of most sectors.
Primary Shoppers are the least trusting.
Key drivers of trust: job creation, product
enjoyment, and open communication
Three-quarters of Canadians deem it important
for CEOs to be on social media
CEO VISIBILITY & ACCESSIBILITY
Not very important
Not all important
A majority prefer product verification by
QUALITY PROMISES OF PRODUCTS BY LARGE CORPORATIONS
I don’t know
I prefer verification by
government inspectors or
I trust their
Canadians place the most trust in word of
mouth and product/service sampling
TRUST IN SOURCES OF INFORMATION ABOUT A
PRODUCT OR SERVICE
Editorial trust 55%
Consumers prefer editorial content and word of
mouth to get current news
PREFERRED INFORMATION SOURCES
Editorial trust 89%
Traditional news sites are preferred, but mobile
apps and online news sites also popular
PREFERRED ONLINE SOURCES TO RECEIVE INFORMATION
▶ While mobile apps and online-
only news sites were 7% of
Canadians’ first choice, they are
part of the top 3 preferred
▶ Newcomers are more likely to
prefer online-only news sites as
their 1st choice (at 13%)
▶ Young Canadians are more likely
to prefer Facebook (30%), while
those aged 25-49 prefer Twitter
(5%), and online news sites (9%)
▶ Quebecers are more likely to
prefer Facebook (18%) or
another online source (9%)
Most Canadians check online reviews from
experienced consumers prior to purchase
Who is more likely to be influencedby the online reviews they read?
• 95% Newcomers
• 95% Married/common law
• 97% Those with teenage kids in their household
• 95% Those who trust large companies
Has reading an online review or comment
from others who have purchased the
same product or service you are seeking
ever been the reason you have chosen to
buy or not buy that product or service?
PREVALENCE OF CHECKING ONLINE
REVIEWS PRIOR TO PURCHASE
76% 24%Born in
58% speak English
25% speak French
8% speak Chinese
*note: all otherlanguages 5% or less
18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54