GRBN Global Trust Survey – Gods not Kings

Originally published on grbn.org, 13th August 2020.

“Familiarity can no longer be a necessary condition for trust. We also confuse trust with familiarity” Robert C. Solomon Quote


When conducting research in Japan, it is a common experience to see the market as an outlier or identify apparent contradictions. However, with the support of those who know the culture, we can usually see that Japanese consumers have more in common with other markets than differences. Trust, familiarity & concern no longer need to confuse.

To play their part in building a trusting relationship between the general public & market research, GRBN recently conducted The Global Trust Survey 2020 with many partners globally, including Rakuten Insight. Globally, approximately 10,000 people participated and in Japan, 1,000 participants came from Rakuten Insight’s proprietary panel.

Amongst many highlights was one chart showing Japan standing alone in the category which exhibits very low familiarity of the collection & usage of personal data combined with high concern of misuse.

At first view this can feel contradictory. The Germanic approach whereby once familiar with personal data usage, they start to feel more relaxed can be seen to be more logical. Likewise low familiarity & low concern is easier to imagine.

However, in Japan, although sensitive to data being misused, they seemingly don’t really make any efforts to get familiar with the laws. Two important values in Japanese business culture shed light on this situation – convenience & omotenashi (customer first).


Neil Cantle is Regional Head EU at Rakuten Insight Global.

Read the full article here>

Related articles: The Land of the Rising Contradictions, The Land of the Rising Contradictions (II), The Land of the Rising Contradictions (III)

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