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American Shoppers Are Really, Really Looking for Brand Honesty Right Now

As long as that honesty is combined with good value, of course.

A recent report from global trend-forecasting agency WGSN shows that American shoppers are most likely to support brands they perceive as both honest and affordable.

According to the report from WGSN's brand performance tracking tool Barometer, the brands from which consumers most consider purchasing are almost universally perceived as more honest. Amazon, which is the womenswear retailer that ranked highest in terms of purchase consideration, also led the way in terms of perceived honesty — it was viewed as 14.5 percent "more honest" than the average. J.C. Penney and Burlington Coat Factory followed Amazon in second and third place at 11.1 and 7.5 percent, respectively.

The brands that scored highest from a purchase consideration standpoint also scored quite high in consumers' estimations that they were "worth every penny." By that measurement, Burlington Coat Factory led the way at 19 percent over the average, being tailed by Amazon at 18.3 and TJ Maxx at 13.1 percent. 

"The high ranking of honesty together with affordability shows that both elements are pivotal for consumer consideration – it's not an either-or situation," said head of WGSN Insight Lorna Hall in a statement. "Brands who are honest are quite simply transparent on their pricing."

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While the desire for affordability is perhaps evergreen among consumers, WGSN posits that the increased emphasis on brand honesty is linked to the political uncertainty of the moment.

"With so much global uncertainty and political noise at the moment, consumers are reaching out for brands to be the new leaders," Hall said. "Brands excelling in this space are the ones that are re-strategizing to put 'doing good' at the core of the company, ensuring honesty, transparency and authenticity are the new business metrics. Regardless of the demographic, honesty speaks volume to consumers who are careful and skeptical about where their eyeballs and money go."

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