MUMBAI: New research has revealed the most trusted brands in India, with foreign players accounting for four of the top five spots in the ranking.

The India Brand Trust Report, developed by Trust Research Advisory, ranks Nokia as the country’s most trusted brand. Local giant Tata comes second, followed by Sony, LG and Samsung.

The research is the first of its kind in India, and uses a 61-component trust matrix to track the performance of 16,000 brands across nine cities. A total of 2310 respondents were interviewed.

Three “foundations” were identified as being key to brand trust – capacity to trust; perception of positive intention; and, relevant competence – underpinned by 10 “composites”, including such attributes as empathy, corporate altruism, shared interests, displayed sincerity and accepting responsibility.

For example, Nokia scored highly for empathy, shared interests and outward appearance. It ranked lower on corporate altruism, an area in which second-placed Tata scored well. Tata also scored highest for display of sincerity.

The report analyses the specific factors influencing the trust scores for each of the top-ten brands. While foreign brands dominated the top five, local brands Reliance, Maruti, LIC, Airtel and Titan accounted for the remainder of the top ten.

“The dynamic nature of trust is self-evident,” said N. Chandramouli, CEO of Trust Research Advisory. “No organization, brand or person can violate trust without losing something irrevocably. However, those who make the effort to gain the trust of their audiences with consistency in actions and behaviour, get the benefit of an accepting and forgiving audience.”

The report also analyses brand trust by category and zone, and features a full listing of the 100 most-trusted brands in India.