Trust in the trusting region

The 2016 Edelman Trust Index reveals the Asia-Pacific region as one of the globe's most trusting. However, the region's cultural diversity must be taken into account when examining citizen perceptions of Asia-Pacific institutions.


Trust is an essential asset for any business anywhere in the world, which is why we have been measuring and assessing it now for 16 years. But trust is an outcome, not a message. It is driven by behaviour first and communications second. It is a function of the tangible products and services a business provides, and the way in which it provides them. It is driven by how a business treats its customers, its employees, its partners, the environment and the communities it lives with. And yes, it is also about the way in which it communicates.

In its most profound sense, everyone knows what trust is and everyone understands and has experienced how trust is earned and how it is lost. But despite this, the behaviours that drive trust are often victims of the day-to-day pressures of running a business effectively. And that is dangerous. If a company becomes distrusted, people globally are 48 per cent less likely to buy its products or services. And if it is actively trusted, they are 68 per cent more likely to buy its products or services. So measuring and managing trust should be a mission critical function for every business and every chief executive officer.

David Brain

David Brain is president and CEO of Edelman’s Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa business. Prior to this, from 2011-2013 David ran Edelman’s standalone Asia-Pacific business. From 2003-2010 he ran the firm’s London-based EMEA business. He trained as a journalist and worked at Visa International (where he ran corporate and public affairs), Singapore-based advertising firm Batey Ads, and agencies Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick. David has directed award-winning campaigns for Unilever, Heineken and Jim Beam. His first book, Crowd Surfing: Surviving and Thriving in the Age of Consumer Empowerment, is published by Bloomsbury in the UK and re-published in Korean and Chinese.