More Americans trust the U.S. Postal Service than any other brand, but they trust tech giants Amazon and Google more than teachers, the police or even Oprah Winfrey.
That's according to a new study from research company Morning Consult that ranks America's 25 most trusted brands based on interviews with an average of 16,700 people per brand for nearly 2,000 different brands.
The USPS topped the rankings, as the study found that 42% of Americans trust the postal service "a lot." The postal service's first-place finish might come as a surprise, considering that the USPS has lost billions of dollars over the past decade as mail volume has dropped by 30% since 2006.
However, when Morning Consult asked people why they trust the USPS, the most common responses said the postal service is "reliable" and "they always deliver the mail no matter the weather."
The USPS was also the No. 2 most trusted brand (42%) among millennials.
Overall, the second most-trusted brand in Morning Consult's study is Amazon, which trusted "a lot" by 38.8% of respondents, while 37.9% said the same about Alphabet-owned Google.
Rounding out the list's top five were online payments company PayPal (36.5%) and The Weather Channel (36.3%).
Here's the full list of America's 25 most-trusted brands along with the percentage of respondents who told Morning Consult they trust each brand "a lot."
- USPS (42%)
- Amazon (38.8%)
- Google (37.9%)
- PayPal (36.5%)
- The Weather Channel (36.3%)
- Chick-Fil-A (36.2%)
- Hershey (36.1%)
- UPS (36.1%)
- Cheerios (35.9%)
- M&M's (34.8%)
- Dove (34.1%)
- Tide (34.1%)
- Ziploc (33.8%)
- Clorox (33.6%)
- FedEx (33.4%)
- Tylenol (33%)
- Colgate (33%)
- Crest (32.9%)
- AAA (32.9%)
- National Geographic (32.8%)
- Netflix (32.7%)
- Heinz Ketchup (32.7%)
- Campbell Soup (32.7%)
- Home Depot (32.6%)
- Walmart (32.5%)
When broken down by generations, Google was the most trusted brand by Gen Z, with 47.1% of those respondents saying they trust the internet search giant "a lot". Google is followed by Netflix, Amazon, YouTube (which is a subsidiary of Google and Alphabet), and the Sony PlayStation.
Among millennials, Google is also the most-trusted brand, then USPS, Amazon, PayPal and Netflix respectively.
Morning Consult also asked all survey respondents how much they trust other institutions or public figures.
While respondents trust "your primary doctor" and "the military" more than both Amazon and Google, they trust the two tech giants more than teachers, the police, scientific studies and even popular celebrities like Tom Hanks and Winfrey.
These tech brands are trusted despite tech backlash in recent years. More and more critics and lawmakers have knocked companies like Amazon, Google and Facebook over issues such as privacy, including how they handle users' personal data.
However, both Amazon and Google (along with fellow tech company PayPal) still secured spots among the five most-trusted brands in America on Morning Consult's ranking, though the study found that 73% of respondents said protecting personal data was a "very important" factor in a brand earning their trust.
Other very important factors mentioned by a majority of survey respondents include making "products that work as advertised" (71% of respondents), "provide refunds if products don't work" (68%) and "provide good customer service" (66%).
Meanwhile, Morning Consult noted that ethical factors seemed to be less important to the survey's respondents when it came to determining trust. Only 34% of respondents said it was important for a brand or company to "have strong ethical or political values" and only 43% said it was very important for a brand to "have the public interest in mind when it comes to business practices."
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