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O.C. Trust Summit draws more than 350 to Grand Californian Hotel

The second annual event looked at why trust matters in business.

By Kristen SchottPublished: June 09, 2011 04:20 PM

Trust. It's a five-letter word that drew more than 350 business execs and community leaders to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel on Thursday for the second annual O.C. Trust Summit.

Hosted by OC METRO and the Values Institute at DGWB, the luncheon highlighted this year's 16 Most Trustworthy Brands in Orange County – deemed as such by the more than 2,000 respondents who took part in a five-month survey conducted online.

The 2011 list includes firms that span a range of industries. In-N-Out, CHOC Children's and Toshiba America are just a few of those who garnered the attention of local consumers, based on their ability, consistency, sincerity, connection and concern – factors that often get overlooked in today's profit-driven market.

"It is a customer who decides trust," said keynote speaker Finbarr O'Neill, president of J.D. Power and Associates.

He noted that trust can be established with the consumer by "achieving excellence" in what J.D. Power calls the "5 Ps" – people, presentation, price, product and process.

The customer is a common denominator among the Most Trustworthy Brands – and that's evidenced by the fact that five of this year's companies are repeat honorees.

Representatives from Chapman University, Disneyland Resort, In-N-Out, St. Joseph Hospital and Planned Parenthood, Orange and San Bernardino Counties participated in the first-ever Trust Lab, which explored why these companies have earned recognition from local consumers as O.C.’s Most Trustworthy Brands for two consecutive years.

The answer: Customers are looking for something they can count on, particularly in a struggling economy, and these brands offer it.

For example, Irvine-based In-N-Out has remained true to the values that the company established 62 years ago. And Planned Parenthood, which had a slight gain in sincerity this year in the ratings over last year, consistently provides meaningful care to its customers.

All told: These five firms, plus the other 11, put the customer's needs first and stand by their values, doing business a bit more honorably than others.

"Pursue a higher purpose, and profit and market share will come," said O'Neill.

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