H-E-B tops another list — this time for most-trusted brands

Dive Brief:

  • H-E-B was ranked as the most trusted brand by U.S. consumers, tied with Mercedes-Benz, according to a ranking by the Temkin Group. The grocer joins some other interesting companies that placed near the top of the list, including rental car companies, credit unions and insurance providers.
  • Other supermarkets making the Top 20 include Publix, Wegmans, Trader Joe’s and AmazonFresh.
  • The list is based on a consumer study by the Temkin Group, which gathered feedback on recent interactions with companies based on the question: “To what degree do you trust that these companies will take care of your needs?” Companies were rated on a scale of 1 (do not trust at all) to 7 (completely trust). 

Dive Insight:

It shouldn’t come as a shock to any H-E-B shopper that their store tops yet another list. Indeed, H-E-B shoppers are a loyal bunch. But what exactly is it about the grocer that makes it so trustworthy and appealing? Just to name a few of the retailer’s core appeals, try its broad and deep selections, highly tailored store-specific selections, personalized approach to the shopping experience, absolutely stellar customer service, and of course its Texas pride.

Customers love H-E-B for the quality of its thousands of store-branded items (some of which are Texas-shaped, and many of which are local), commercials featuring their beloved San Antonio Spurs, the company's mascot H.E. Buddy (which one shopper described as “a walking, talking, smiling bag of groceries”), a good selection of Mexican candy, the tortilla stand in the middle of the store, and an ongoing promotion called Combo Loco, requiring fun hunts for various items to earn special discounts on all of them.

In other words, H-E-B makes grocery shopping an enjoyable experience. It knows its shopper base and interacts with them on a regular basis. One such example is a statewide video contest that encourages shoppers to create and submit a commercial featuring their favorite H-E-B Primo Picks, one-of-a-kind products that are featured monthly across the supermarket chain. This gets shoppers involved and they can win great prizes.

And then there’s the local roots aspect. H-E-B operates in the single U.S. state of Texas as well as a chunk of northeast Mexico. The retailer demonstrates its local pride by regularly seeking out the best emerging food and beverage products made within the state with such promotions as its “Primo Picks Quest for Texas Best” contest. Since the competition began in 2014, H-E-B has incorporated 135 products into its lineup of private label offerings. This is the kind of exciting and unique assortment that keeps shoppers coming back again and again.

Rankings and ratings, such as those available from the Timken Group, provide companies as well as industries a good benchmark to see how they stack up in terms of consumer sentiment. According to the 2017 study, for instance, the supermarket industry earned the highest average rating (68%), followed by auto dealers (66%) and investment firms (65%).

Across the supermarket sector, trust ratings ranged from a high of 82% earned by H-E-B to a low of 57% for Safeway. Armed with this kind of information, companies not only gain an understanding of where they stand with shoppers and how they compare to their competitors, but then can also start formulating a plan and take appropriate action to earn back consumer trust if necessary. 

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Filed Under: Grocery
Top image credit: Enoch Lai