Trusted Brand 2014 WINNERS Asia

Who are the Trusted Brands in Asia 2014?

For the past 16 years, the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey has investigated this very question. Each year, it has approached ordinary consumers and asked their opinions on what brands of products and services are important to them.

With these years of research behind us, we are able to confidently dissect precisely what features a trusted brand must possess in order to maintain relevance and purpose for Asian consumers. A trusted brand enjoys international appeal, yet at the same time upholds a strong local connection. It has individual relevance for all its consumers, just about anywhere and in any culture. Asia is a sophisticated and brand-savvy environment, and consumers have high expectations. A trusted brand must be genuine, reliable and consistent. Only the best brands can manage this.

Cost, quality and desirability are all important factors for consumers. Yet our survey has also found that it's vital for a brand to stay true to its promises. While many brands come in and out of vogue, those that capture our attention, maintain our confidence and win over our trust do so by staying fast to their core principles.

Being ranked on the Trusted Brand list is a great achievement, but maintaining this ranking involves a genuine commitment to protect and fulfil the promises made to the consumer. It means ensuring the quality doesn't drop. It means that great taste stays the same. And it definitely means delivering the same value and consumer satisfaction year in and year out, while always remaining open to innovation and reinvention – no easy task!

There is no doubt that for business, trust is a form of currency. It underpins the perceived value a brand enjoys. In today's rapidly changing landscape, where a good or bad social media comment about a brand can send a company's spin doctors into overdrive, consumers' expectations of brands are becoming less forgiving. If a product doesn't deliver what it promises, or what it has done on previous occasions, then there are many alternative products waiting to lure away its customers.

But when a brand does deliver, consumers feel a sense of trust and are more likely to favour it – and to continue buying it in the future. Once trust is established, it becomes an instinctive response – the consumer buys the brand without so much as a second thought because it is "their" brand. For business, this is the ultimate vote of confidence.

While reputation is based on past experiences, trust is a forward-facing measure, and is imbued with expectation, promise and satisfaction. Once gained, it is its own reward.