Tony isn’t a Dick

Tony Abbott

“Be true to your word, don’t take us for granted, respect our needs and desires, and deliver on promises.”

According to Readers Digest’s Trusted Brand Survey 2014, this is the message to Australian brands from the 3,000 Aussies who voted.

In that survey, Australia’s most trusted brands are Dettol, Colgate, Dyson, Dulux, Band-Aid, Parker Pens, Johnson & Johnson, Weber, Weetbix, and Panadol.

What if Readers Digest sought to identify our most trusted politicians? How would Tony Abbott fare?

Well, Readers Digest doesn’t need to ask, because someone else has done it. The results aren’t good.

As a brand, Tony Abbott stinks.

In a recent Sydney Morning Herald & Nielsen survey of 1,400 Australians, only 35% of us trust him. At 35%, his trust rating is down there with the world’s least trusted brands – which include Phillip Morris, Time Warner, HSBC and Monsanto.

Tony Abbott’s strategists will tell him such a low trust rating doesn’t matter. They’re wrong.

Trust is a critical attribute for every organisation and individual. We don’t buy products from companies we don’t trust. We don’t enter into relationships with people we don’t trust. We don’t follow leaders we don’t trust.

For the 65% of Australians who don’t trust their PM, his words aren’t heard. We listen to people we trust. We don’t listen to those we don’t.

If heard, his words aren’t believed. We believe the words of those we trust. We don’t believe the words of those we don’t.

When we trust a brand, we let it into our lives. If it tells us something, we believe it and repeat it. If it introduces a new product, we buy it and recommend it. If it enters new markets, we follow. If it makes a mistake, we forgive it.

Like it or not, every one of us is a brand. People only have to hear our names to have a feeling about our brand’s value and our trustworthiness.

A brand that very nearly made it into the top 10 list is Dick Smith. As a man – and a brand – Australians trust Dick Smith.

Tony Abbott is no Dick Smith.

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