The results of the Confidence in Institutions poll published by Gallup might come as quite a surprise to some U.S businesses and institutions. U.S. consumer sentiment has soured regarding a number of key entities and a new image campaign might help to improve this state of affairs.
Gallup pollsters say that American confidence in key institutions has fallen to record lows. The numbers for the public school systems are particularly bleak. Between last year and this year, the number of consumers with ‘a great deal’ or ‘quite a lot’ of confidence in schools dropped from 34% to 29%.
New lows have also been reached by institutions that are likely to have marketing budgets that can be used for image campaigns:
- Churches and organized religion: 44%
- Banks: 21%
- TV news producers: 21%
Banks are near the bottom of the list along with big business (21%), health maintenance organizations (19%) and Congress (13%). The news isn’t all bad for big business. Since last year, this category is among the most improved, up 2%, along with the medical system and the presidency. But pollsters warn that these improvements are not significant.
Institutions that have historically been near the top of the list include the military, the police and small business. As the recession drags on, small businesses remain near the top of the list. Small businesses, in particular, should engage in branding campaigns to increase traffic during this time when so many consumers find it all too easy to patronize pureplay online retailers.
Some of the institutions who have witnessed eroding consumer confidence may want to rethink their marketing strategies.[Source: Confidence in U.S. Public Schools at New Low. Gallup.com. 20 Jun. 2012. Web. 3 Jul. 2012]