Mechanised Truth

January 10, 2018

How to build trust with the consumer of 2018

You may have heard of our annual global report Trending 2018. It’s our most popular piece of content, packed with insightful data and informative actions – so naturally, we like to talk about it. As we approach the new year, brands should be looking to Mechanised Truth as a means to put trust building high on the priority list. Consumers have long been developing a distrust of traditional authority figures and companies, especially so in a climate where a counter-claim exists to challenge almost every apparent truth. 2018 is a year that demands stronger expectations of corporate ethics.

Established truths are few and far between and large numbers of consumers say they find it difficult to find sources of information they can trust. 38% of adults in the UK agree with the statement “I find it difficult to know which news stories to trust”, rising to 45% of women. In food matters too, consumers have trouble establishing the truth: 19% of global consumers disagree that “it’s easy to find trustworthy information about foods’ health benefits”.

Transparency and truth-seeking are in demand as consumers aim to hunt for the truth themselves – with the help of tools that provide tangible, mechanised truths that robustly challenge emotionally-charged “alternative facts”, and meet the significant need for corporate transparency. In the world of news media, for instance, 18% of consumers claim to have used a fact-checking service with a further 32% interested in doing so.

A number of technologies stand ready to assist consumers in their quest for the truth. Swiss company Ambrosus has harnessed blockchain and smart contracts, and aims to become a “trusted ecosystem” for the food supply chain. It’s publicly verifiable and a community-driven system. The company aims to help farmers earn fair prices, improve food distribution and inform consumers on the source of their food is. Additionally, in August this year, high profile retail and FMCG brands including Nestlé and Walmart entered a blockchain collaboration with IBM with similar goals.


How should brands act?

Trust-building will remain a live and unresolved issue in global societies for the foreseeable future. Mechanised Truth invites brands to outsource internal claims and put them to the test, using tools that can prove supply chain safety or verify and bring clarity to a brand’s marketing messages. Although truth alone will not necessarily convince or change consumers behaviour in the way they perceive eco-ethical purchases, for example, this theme charts the beginning of a new era of how corporate ethics are communicated and digested.


Find out what other themes could be impacting your consumer group and what to implement into your strategy. Download the Trending 2018 report.



Written by Dominic Harrison

Director of Global Trends at Foresight Factory. Wish for the future? A world where new generations of smart tech adopt a less interruptive and visible presence in our lives. No more phones at dinner!