The 2020s are off to a tumultuous start. Individuals have experienced extraordinary political and social upheaval, war on the European continent, the reemergence of infectious diseases, financial instability, scandals, and extreme weather events. Against this unsettling backdrop, citizens, consumers, employees, and partners will look to organizations they trust for stability and positive long-term relationships. This means that in the next 12 months, some companies will suffer from diminished levels of trust, while others have an opportunity to strengthen their trust capital.

But not all organizations know how to cultivate trust (or that it’s possible to do with an approach such as Forrester’s Trust Imperative framework). To further help organizations plan the next steps of their trust strategy, I’m sharing a few of Forrester’s 2023 predictions.

  • Trust in consumer technology will decline by 15%. Over the past three years, tech has been critical to consumers’ lives, from remote working and home schooling to entertainment and e-commerce. Technology firms reached unprecedented levels of popularity. But the honeymoon is coming to an end, and we predict that trust in consumer technology companies will decline by 15% in 2023. Dealing with reduced trust is not only a priority for the companies that are directly affected. When consumers trust a brand less, they also lose trust in other businesses associated with it. This is the time to map your value chain and be ready to take action to safeguard trust in your own brand.
  • Banks will lose consumer trust during economic turmoil. During the pandemic, consumer trust in banking brands reached an all-time high. But it didn’t last long! In 2022, consumer trust in banks fell for the first time in several years, and Forrester’s 2022 data shows that many consumers don’t believe their bank has empathy. As the economy continues to flash warning signals, consumers’ ire and resentment toward their bank will make it even harder to earn trust, so for most brands, trust will decline. To maintain consumer trust, banks must lead with empathy and take a data-driven approach to earning trust with concrete, targeted steps that help them navigate the cost-of-living crisis.
  • People’s trust in government will increase in the US, Australia, and Singapore. Trust falls when governments are no longer able to create a better future for their people. In 2023, the US, Australia, and Singapore will buck historic trends that saw trust shrinking by building on dependability as a core lever of trust as well as investing heavily in the other key trust levers of accountability, competency, and transparency. President Biden’s Management Agenda is doubling down on the combined power of customer and employee experience, while the new jobs agenda from Australia’s incoming government is targeting a reduction in the use of external consultants in favor of skilled public sector workers.

Building and safeguarding trust is a priority for every organization in the tumultuous year ahead. Organizations that cultivate trust will build unbreakable bonds with customers, attract the most dedicated talent, and create new business models with partners — all while minimizing risk.

If you’re a Forrester client, read our full Predictions report for more detail on what’s ahead. If you aren’t yet a client, download our complimentary Predictions guide to understand what will shape the business landscape in the coming year.