FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Lifestory Research is an independent consumer research company that conducts surveys of product and service quality, customer satisfaction, brand opinions, and buyer behavior.  We engage with consumers to better understand their opinions, perceptions, and expectations about products, brands, and services in a variety of industries. We are a science driven agency that ignites relationships between companies and their customers, between organizations and their team members, and between leaders and their supporters.

 

Below are some frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers:

How does Lifestory Research conduct its America’s Most Trusted® research?

To identify America’s Most Trusted®, Lifestory Research conducts an ongoing annual survey in which people anonymously assess the trust they have in brands they encounter during their active search for specific products. Lifestory Research surveys people by mail, telephone, e-mail, and online panels. Our objective is to provide accurate and reliable insights by using well established social science research practices. America’s Most Trusted® is a consumer-based research program based on the opinions of thousands of people familiar with the brands in the study.  Please visit the Survey Methodology page to learn more.

What is a trust index score?

Lifestory Research uses a Net Trust Quotient "Index" Score as a means to determine how people see different brands. To determine this Index, Lifestory Research asks survey respondents to rate various aspects of their perceptions of a brand. These vary by industry, but include such areas as perceptions of quality, trustworthiness, reputation, etc. Based on these consumer responses, we then determine the importance of each of these areas and how each contributes to brand trust. Net Trust Quotient Scores are calculated based on how a consumer evaluated trust in a specific brand.  The consumer ratings are combined to create an overall numerical Index score and this score determines which companies or brands receive an America’s Most Trusted® designation and award. Please visit the Survey Methodology page to learn more.

What brands are included in the America’s Most Trusted® study?

The aim of the study is to examine brands that are pervasive and well known among consumers.  The study by no means includes all brands. To determine the inclusion of a brand, we first undertake brand awareness studies in which we seek to identify what are the best-known brands in America.  Given that the study investigates trust within different industry categories, we ask people to identify the brands that they know within a specific product category. As an example, we will ask consumers to tell us all the brand names of computers they know. Over 300 brands are included in the study within the product categories of home builders, active adult resort builders, faucets, windows, dishwashers, refrigerators, laundry appliances, heating ventilation and cooling systems (HVAC), house paints, bed mattresses, residential brokerages, computers, vacuums, and televisions.  These product categories are all related in one way or form to home. Brands associated to houses are a central historical feature of the study.

Do brands pay to be included in the America’s Most Trusted® study?

No, brands do not pay to be included in the study.  Brands included in the research program are based on the opinions of the people we survey.  Our goal is to ask people to evaluate brands that are known by many people, so the brands included in the final brand trust ratings are those that people told us in our surveys that the brand is well recognized (and is trusted).

 
What is the time period included in the evaluation of brands in the America’s Most Trusted® study?

The America’s Most Trusted® study is an annual study in which each month of the year the Lifestory team administers the survey to thousands of people.  Brands like people, grow and change with time, so once a year we calculate the trust opinions from the past 12 months and announce those brands that are trusted the most.   

I don’t trust a high-ranking brand in the America’s Most Trusted® study, how can this be?

The ranking results and trust ratings are based on the opinions of thousands of people.  While we understand that not all people share the same opinion, the aim of the America’s Most Trusted® study is to reflect the overall opinion of consumers.  While most people may indicate a high level of trust in a brand, we recognize that some people will not evaluate a brand as trustworthy.

How do brands obtain approval to use the America’s Most Trusted® awards?

Lifestory Research has strict guidelines for advertising claims, and every advertising claim related to a study is required to adhere to these specific standards. Only highest-ranked performers in pre-defined categories are allowed to license the use of the Lifestory Research America’s Most Trusted® awards in advertising. No promotional use or advertising can be made of the survey results without the express prior written consent of Lifestory Research.

I want to put a link to your site on my own site. Is that okay?

Yes, you are welcome to link to any of our insights or pages from your site, we encourage it.

Do you allow news agencies to repost or report the results of America’s Most Trusted® awards?

Yes, news organizations and journalists are allowed to report on the results of the study.  Companies and brands listed in the study results are not allowed to reuse any of the materials or marks without the express prior written consent of Lifestory Research.

May I reproduce your material on my website?

No. Using our material without our permission is trademark and copyright infringement, even if your site is noncommercial, and even if you give us credit. You are welcome to link to any of our articles from your site, but you may not reproduce the content of our pages on your own site, nor may you distribute the text of our articles via email forwards or mailing lists, or by posting them to message boards or blogs. (All of these actions constitute infringement.)

How can I complete the survey used in the America’s Most Trusted® study?

We appreciate your interest in participating in our surveys. The America’s Most Trusted® study is based on a random selection of people. Randomization is a foundational approach in social science research that reduces biased responses.  We do not allow anyone to request participation in the study. Participants are randomly selected and invited to participate in the study.

Is brand trust the same as customer satisfaction?

Trust is a forward leaning experience that reflects the propensity that you will consider a brand as you shop for products and services.  Satisfaction is a post judgement of a product or service. As this suggests, trust and satisfaction are not the same thing. One can trust a brand without first having used or experience a product offered by the brand.  Trust can be formed through direct experience (and customer satisfaction), but it can also be formed by direct experiences (learning, engaging) and through the opinions of others (friends, family, valued others). Since trust can be created through many pathways it provides a broad brand measure of value.