Canadian Tire bumps Tim Hortons out as most trusted brand: survey

TORONTO, ON - May 4  - A Canadian Tire gas station in Milton, May 4, 2023. Canadian Tire is rebranding their gas stations        (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)
Canadian Tire is the most trusted brand in the country, according to a survey from data intelligence firm Morning Consult. (Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Canadian Tire is the most trusted brand in the country, according to a survey from data intelligence firm Morning Consult, with the retailer bumping Tim Hortons out of the top spot this year.

Morning Consult released its Most Trusted Brand survey results this week. The company ranks top global brands based on net trust scores, meaning the share of consumers who trust brands minus the share of those who distrust the brand.

The survey found that Canadian Tire was the most trusted company in the country, based on a survey of more than 2,220 Canadians, followed by Dove in second place for the second year in a row. Tim Hortons claimed the third ranking, dropping two spots after it was named the most trusted brand in 2022.

“When you look at Tim Hortons and Canadian Tire being so high on the list, you see the importance of localization in what drives many of these companies to the top of the list in each country,” Claire Tassin, a retail and e-commerce analyst at Morning Consult, said in an interview with Yahoo Finance Canada.

“When you look across countries, many of the top brands are strong domestic brands. I think that does help contribute to that higher level of trust.”

Tassin also said that Canadian Tire’s Triangle Rewards loyalty program may have helped the retailer earn trust among consumers. The company recently rolled out a new fee-based subscription tier as part of the program, one that will cost $89 a year plus taxes and aims to deliver “even more value to customers,” the retailer said.

“The overall ability for a brand to offer strong value to consumers, especially in the face of heightened inflation, is something that has really been consistent across the brands that rank high in trust,” Tassin said.

While Tim Hortons may have dropped to third this year, the brand has remained resilient and still maintained a high overall trust score, Morning Consult’s food and beverage analyst Emily Moquin said in an interview.

“Tim Hortons still has high net trust, it’s just that other brands have inched above Tims,” Moquin said.

Tim Hortons’ strong performance comes despite an investigation last year by federal and provincial privacy commissioners that found Tim Hortons’ mobile app tracked and recorded users’ movements resulting in “a mass invasion of Canadians’ privacy.” Moquin said that the privacy breach did not have a significant impact on consumers trust in the brand.

“It really didn’t make much of an impact at all,” she said.

“Trust is built up over a long period of time… so for a brand like Tim Hortons that has been around and had a role in many Canadians’ lives for so long, they are willing to give some leeway for issues when they come up, as long as they are responsive.”

In the U.S., the most trusted brand was Band-Aid, followed by UPS and Amazon. Google was the top brand in India and France, Paypal was the most trusted company in Germany, and Toyota was the most trusted brand in Japan. China's Alipay claimed the top spot in that country.

With files from the Canadian Press

Alicja Siekierska is a senior reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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