6 November, 2017


The findings come as the result of a study of 15,000 people worldwide carried out by Cohn & Wolfe. Customers were asked to arrange a list of seven attributes in order of importance, with data protection and privacy ranking as their main concern.

We nabbed the top spot ahead of competition from some leading retailers at a time when the handling of personal data is becoming ever more significant for brands. With stringent new rules under the General Data Protection Regulation coming in to force next May, companies and organisations risk significant fines for the mishandling of people’s personal data.

Other attributes by which customers judged the authenticity of a brand included treating customers well, delivering on promises and communicating honestly. Scores were collected out of 100 based on people’s perception of them.

Scott Wilson, Chief Executive of Cohn & Wolfe UK, said: "If people are convinced that you are authentic, our research shows they are more likely to listen, or purchase. Beyond that, they are more likely to recommend your brand to others – and to stick with you during times of crisis."

He added: "This shows that authenticity is a key driver of reputation. And to be authentic, a brand must be reliable, respectful and real. Brands should consider how authentic they are and what they can do to be more authentic – the business benefits will be very real."

Guy Johnson, Head of Data Governance at M&S said of the win: “Being transparent and trustworthy is part of our commitment to putting customers at the heart of everything we do. We’re delighted to receive recognition for something that we really value as a business.”

Inside M&S