The role of trust in Kiwi spending 

Trust is a leading factor when it comes to New Zealanders purchasing decisions, a recent Adobe study has found. So, what can brands learn from this to ensure they retain trust and respect their customers’ data preferences?


The survey of more than 1,000 Kiwi consumers and 100 senior business leaders has found a strong correlation between brand trust and consumer behaviour.

Of the consumers, 57 percent say they will stop purchasing from brands that break their trust, and the data shows consumers will spend more each year with trusted brands. 

When asked whether they consider digital or in-person experiences to be more important in driving trust, only 14 percent of New Zealand consumers favoured digital experiences, compared to more than a third of APAC consumers (35 percent). This compares to 35 percent who say that in-person experiences are more important as trust enablers, and 52 percent that say that both are equally important.

Simon Tate, Asia Pacific President for Adobe, says the importance of digital experiences during an exchange of trust has become more prominent.

“Done right, many consumers will reward brands with loyalty and spend. When trust is broken, most consumers will walk away permanently.”

However senior business leaders surveyed suggested that earning trust is increasingly tricky, with 57 percent saying that it has become harder since the pandemic began, though this is low compared with 81 percent who thought the same across APAC. 

“New Zealand consumers’ experiences over the past two years and the rise of the digital economy are combining to shift the fundamental drivers of brand trust. More than ever, trust relies on brands’ ability to make a positive impact, use data responsibly and deliver digital experiences on customers’ terms,” says Tate.

Thomas Barta, co-author of path-breaking leadership book ‘The 12 Powers of a Marketing Leader’ says New Zealand businesses are facing a dual challenge. 

“Better personalisation and privacy may sound like competing targets, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As Adobe’s latest research reveals, leading marketers are already providing highly personalised customer experiences, while using customer data responsibly,” says Barta. 

“When it comes to data privacy, the top spot for a company doing it exceptionally well, is still up for grabs. To get there, customers don’t ask for too much. Eighty eight percent of New Zealand consumers simply want to decide how firms used their data and desire more transparency, and 65 percent asked that firms use their data only for what really matters: making the customer experience better,” Barta says.

The data trust gap

A key aspect driving brand mistrust for New Zealand consumers’ is the use of personal data. Seventy five percent of survey respondents are concerned about how their data is being used however 49 percent of consumers believe the benefits of providing their data to companies are greater than the risks. 

Consumers are also signalling that they will stop purchasing from brands if they experience data governance failures. This includes 77 percent who would stop purchasing from a company that used their data without permission, and 76 percent who would do the same if companies were to disrespect their data preferences.

Despite this clear message from consumers, 96 percent of New Zealand senior business leaders believe consumers trust them to keep their data safe and use it responsibly, and 75 percent say the benefits customers receive from companies collecting their data outweigh the risks.

Technology and trust

According to APAC consumers, there are a number of factors that can both increase and decrease their trust in brands and enhance the digital experience, with technology playing a prominent role.

Almost half (46 percent) say their trust in brands increases when technology is used to personalise their experience. However, 71 percent say poor personalisation erodes trust, with top examples including ‘contacting me in a creepy way’ and ignoring their preferences.

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