Most Trusted Brands In America

Hilton Leads Hotel Category in Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brands in America Survey

This year’s survey found that gaining consumer loyalty is more vital than ever, with approximately three out of four (71 percent) of survey participants on average citing 'trust' as important for their purchasing decision.
A traffic sign with the word Trust - Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
Hilton Leads Hotel Category in Readers Digest Most Trusted Brands in America Survey

Reader’s Digest today announced the results of its fourth annual Trusted Brand Survey in the June issue available on newsstands today and on RD Trusted Brands.

The survey, which is based on responses from more than 5,500 Americans across the country, awards the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® title to brands and products in 40 product categories including travel, food and beverage, automotive, beauty and healthcare, retail, financial services, household items, and consumer electronics, among others.

This year’s survey revealed that approximately half (48 percent) of respondents said the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® seal of approval increased their likelihood of trusting a brand, and 46 percent stated they were more likely to purchase products or services using the seal.

Since its launch in 2015, the number of winning products or services incorporating the seal into their advertising or marketing campaigns has increased fourfold. Among the brands that have previously used this recognition in their campaign include well-known brands such as Ford, Toyota, and Kellogg’s among others. Only brands voted by Americans as “Most Trusted” are eligible for the certification program.

This year’s survey found that gaining consumer loyalty is more vital than ever, with approximately three out of four (71 percent) of survey participants on average citing 'trust' as important for their purchasing decision. Slightly more than eight out of ten (81 percent) consumers stated that “trust” is important in their purchasing decisions in categories such as health insurance and retirement services.

The survey also found that when a product or service’s quality and price are similar, 83 percent of consumers would buy from the company they “trust” more. However, the survey found that gaining consumer trust continues to be a challenge for brands and marketers, with roughly half (48 percent) of participants indicating they are less trusting of brands today. In fact, 69 percent of respondents agree with the statement that “brands need to do a better job of earning consumers’ trust.”

Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Trust outweighs product pricing: 71 percent of consumers said they would pay more money to support a brand they trust.
  • Trust ensures customer retention and brand loyalty: 82 percent of survey respondents stated they tend to stick to the brands they trust the most.
  • Customer loyalty can be lost quickly: 68 percent of respondents agreed that even if a brand lets them down just once, it is hard for them to trust it enough to continue to purchase it in the future.
  • Millennials are more likely to engage with brands they trust: 69 percent of Millennials reported that they trust brands that value their contribution and feedback.
  • Millennials have high expectations of brands: 68 percent of Millennials feel that brands they use the most must make a real difference in their lives vs. 60 percent of overall participants who stated as such.

“Trust has always been one of the most essential values we maintain at Reader’s Digest,” states Lee Zellweger, publisher. “This program enables us to understand how trust impacts consumer behavior and why it is critical that brands work diligently now more than ever to protect the trust they have built between themselves and their consumers.”

Zellweger adds that “this year’s winners consist of brands and companies that have excelled at earning the respect and allegiance of consumers nationwide.”

The Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® for 2018 are the following:


Allergy Relief

Cold & Flu Remedy

Headache/Pain Reliever


Hybrid/Electric Car




Body Lotion/Moisturizer

Eye-Care Product


Soap/Body Wash

Anti-Aging Skin Care

Incontinence Product

Feminine Product


Cold Cereal

Hot Cereal

Nutrition Bar

Clif Bar
Salad Dressing

Nondairy Milk

Cat Food

Dog Food

Pet Treat


Large Kitchen Appliance

General Electric
Interior Paint

Home Improvement Store

Home Depot
Pharmacy/Drug Store

CVS Pharmacy
Mass Merchandiser Retail Store

Laundry Detergent

Bathroom Cleaner

Life Insurance

Health Insurance

Blue Cross Blue Shield
Retirement Investment Service

Wireless Provider

Cruise Line

Credit Card


Weight Loss System

Weight Watchers


About the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® Survey:

The survey first launched in Asia in 2000 and since then has grown into a global initiative spanning 25 countries, where it is used as an insightful tool to assess consumer insights and attitudes related to products, services, and professions and to recognize the world’s most trusted brands.

Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® survey provides consumers with the ability to share their knowledge about and recommendations for the brands and products they trust most. The online survey of over 5,550 consumers also helps brands understand how consumers shop; what they look for among different categories and how trust impacts their purchase decisions and behaviors.

The full list of Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand® can be found in the publication’s June issue, which goes on sale May 15 and online at RD Trusted Brands.

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