18 Must-Read Books on Building Trust for Your Business and Brand

Image of Ben Wilson
Ben Wilson
Published: Dec 6, 2022

With trust being a cornerstone of successful businesses and brands, it’s important to understand how to cultivate trust among customers, employees, partners and stakeholders.

In this blog post, we will discuss 18 books that will help you build brand trust. These books provide valuable insights on the topic of trust and offer strategies for establishing trust in your business and brand. Whether you are just starting out or looking to rebuild trust after a scandal, these books will help!

The books are covered in alphabetical order:

  1. The Book of Trust
  2. Building Brand Trust
  3. Communicate in a Crisis
  4. Digital Body Language
  5. The Four Factors of Trust
  6. The Future is Trust
  7. A Matter of Trust
  8. The Power of Trust
  9. The Power of Trust
  10. Talking to Strangers
  11. The Thin Book of Trust
  12. Trusted Leader
  13. The 10 Laws of Trust
  14. Trust
  15. Trust Me
  16. Trust and Inspire
  17. Trust Signals
  18. Who You Can Trust

The Book of Trust:

Build Trust, Be Trusted, and Know Who To Trust

1. The Book of TrustBy: Yoram Solomon

Published: October 26th, 2022

Print Length: 550 pages

Buy on Amazon

The Book of Trust is an extensive all-around guide to the many elements of trust as they factor into the business world, from 16-time author Yoram Solomon. From a lifetime’s worth of business experience and decades of research, Solomon has developed ‘The Eight Laws of Trust’ and the six-component ‘TrustHabits™’ model, and in this book, he combines them with a 7-Step Action Plan to provide a comprehensive field guide for any business leader who is keen to establish trust as a benchmark of their organization.

About Yoram Solomon

Yoram Solomon is an adjunct professor at Southern Methodist University and has been named one of the Top 40 Innovation Bloggers and one of the Top 20 Global Thought Leaders on Corporate Culture and Innovation. He is one of the creators of Wi-Fi and USB 3.0, with more than 22 patents to his name. 

Building Brand Trust:

Discovering The Advertising Insights Behind Great Brands

2 Building Brand TrustBy: Josh McQueen

Published: May 15th, 2012

Print Length: 412 pages

Buy on Amazon

Having spent 28 years working for leading advertising agency Leo Burnett (an agency famous for creating household figures such as Tony the Tiger and the Pillsbury Doughboy) few people have quite as much hands-on experience in the world of brand marketing as Josh McQueen. Within Building Brand Trust he shares knowledge from a career in advertising and research that has spanned continents.

About Josh McQueen

Josh McQueen received his BS magna cum laude and MS in communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently consults with nonprofits via Chay McQueen LLC.


Communicate in a Crisis:

Understand, Engage, and Influence Consumer Behaviour to Maximize Brand Trust

3 Communicate in a Crisis

By: Kate Hartley

Published: August 27th, 2019

Print Length: 256 pages

Buy on Amazon

In a news cycle that’s crowded by clickbait articles, algorithm-driven social media commentary, and public figures who seem to thrive off inflammatory comments, it can be hard to get a handle on what true crisis management actually looks like. In Communicate in a Crisis, Kate Hartley helps us get to grips with how to work on effective long-term reputation building in the age of information.

About Kate Hartley

Kate Hartley is a member of the CIPR and the PRCA, and co-founder of the crisis-simulation company Polpeo. 


Digital Body Language:

How to Build Trust and Connection, No Matter the Distance

5 Digital Body Language-By: Erica Dhawan

Published: May 11th, 2021

Print Length: 288 pages

Buy on Amazon

The Covid-19 induced lockdowns of the past few years have only exacerbated the growing interpersonal disconnectedness and isolation we have been experiencing as a society in recent decades. Erica Dhawan’s aim with Digital Body Language is to help us replicate the kind of understanding and intimacy that humans are built to develop through in-person contact, in the digital interactions that are steadily serving as a replacement. 

About Erica Dhawan

Erica Dhawan is co-founder and CEO of Cotential, and was named one of the top management professionals around the world by Global Gurus. She has been published multiple times, including by the Harvard Business Review, and has her MPA from Harvard Kennedy School alongside an MBA from MIT Sloan.


The Four Factors of Trust:

How Organizations Can Earn Lifelong Loyalty

4 The Four Factors of Trust-By: Ashley Reichheld & Amelia Dunlop

Published: November 1st, 2022

Print Length: 304 pages

Buy on Amazon

They often say that numbers don’t lie, but in the age of big data, it’s become increasingly easy for facts and figures to tell an incorrect story. Ashley Reichheld refers to Deloitte’s HX TrustID™ measurement tool in The Four Factors of Trust to outline just how important trust is for both consumer and employee confidence. Its four factors of trust (Humanity, Capability, Transparency, and Reliability) form the basis of an innovative tool that can measure, predict, and develop lifelong loyalty in those you need to build it with.

About Ashley Reichheld & Amelia Dunlop

Ashley Reichheld is a principal at Deloitte Digital and the creator of the HX TrustID. Amelia Dunlop is the Chief Experience Officer for Deloitte Digital and a Principal at Deloitte LLP.


The Future is Trust:

Embracing the Era of Trust-Centred Leadership

6 The Future of Trust- Embracing the Era of Trust-Centred LeadershipBy: Rick Kitigawa & Lisa Lambert

Published: June 10th, 2021

Print Length: 134 pages

Buy on Amazon

Honing in on the importance of trust in any relationship, Rick Kitigawa and Lisa Lambert focus The Future is Trust on the core components of what it takes to build trust in those around you. Speaking from their professional experience as global organizational design consultants, leadership coaches, and facilitators, Kitigawa and Lambert provide an accessible and easily adoptable guide for fostering trust-centered relationships wherever they are needed.

About Rick Kitigawa & Lisa Lambert

Rick Kitagawa has worked with clients like Apple, Google, Starbucks, Warby Parker, Citigroup, and Gap as a consultant, executive coach, and facilitator. He is also Head Coach for the altMBA and Akimbo workshops and produces the Inner Monster Podcast. Lisa Lambert also serves as a Head Coach for the altMBA and Akimbo workshops, co-hosts the In Trust podcast, mentors young entrepreneurs through YELL Canada, and writes a daily newsletter about leadership, innovation, collaboration, and culture.


A Matter of Trust:

The Practice of Ethics in Finance

7A Matter of Trust- The Practice of Ethics in FinanceBy: Paul Kofman & Claire Payne

Published: February 26th, 2018

Print Length: 285 pages

Buy on Amazon

Few industries have been compromised by a crisis of trust as significantly as the finance sector, particularly since the 2008 crash. In A Matter of Trust, Paul Kofman and Claire Payne look at both the bigger and smaller picture of financial transactions and arrangements around the world, examining the ways in which trust plays a vital role in ensuring the ongoing sustainability of our current economic models. It lays out the ways in which ethics can be integrated into every decision finance professionals make, for the better.

About Paul Kofman & Claire Payne

Paul Kofman was appointed Professor of Finance at the University of Melbourne in 2001. He was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics in 2012. Clare Payne is an expert in the area of banking and financial ethics. She began her career as an employment attorney before managing the Integrity Office of a major international investment bank.


The Power of Trust:

How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain It

8 The Power of Trust- How Companies Build It, Lose It, Regain ItBy: Sandra J. Sucher & Shalena Gupta

Published: July 6th, 2021

Print Length: 304 pages

Buy on Amazon

In The Power of Trust, Shalena Gupta and Sandra J. Sucher use 20 years of research and compelling case studies to outline the ways in which trust can have very real impacts on the economics behind any business. Highlighting how valuable a commodity trust is, Gupta and Sucher lay out the science behind creating and maintaining it, and reinforce the very tangible steps that any individual or organization have to take in order to foster trust in themselves. 

About Sandra J. Sucher and Shalena Gupta

Sandra J. Sucher is an internationally renowned researcher who investigates how firms gain trust and the crucial role leaders play in the process. She is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School. Twenty years of her career were spent as a company executive before she joined the Harvard faculty. Editor at MIT Horizon and research associate at Harvard Business School, Shalene Gupta formerly worked as a Fortune correspondent covering big data, smart cities, and diversity in Silicon Valley.

The Power of Trust:

How Top Companies Build, Manage and Protect It

9 The Power of Trust- How Top Companies Build, Manage and Protect ItBy: Natalie Doyle Oldfield

Published: October 17th, 2017

Print Length: 335 pages

Buy on Amazon

Natalie Doyle Oldfield’s The Power of Trust focuses on the foundational aspect of trust, as a bedrock for any interaction or connection. Analyzing every aspect of a company, from its balance sheets to its boardrooms, Oldfield uses real-life examples and insights from industry leaders to demonstrate just how integral trust is to the entire structure of any company that wants to succeed.

About Natalie Doyle Oldfield

Natalie Doyle is the founder of Success Through Trust, and has received five Top Trust Thought Leader awards from Trust Across America. She received a lifetime achievement award from Trust Across America in 2021.


Talking to Strangers:

What We Should Know about the People We Don’t

10 Talking to Strangers- What We Should Know about the People We Don’tBy: Malcolm Gladwell

Published: September 10th, 2019

Print Length: 400 pages

Buy on Amazon

Taking a slightly different tack on our list, we have sociohistorical heavyweight Malcolm Gladwell with What We Should Know about the People We Don’t. Essentially a household name for his #1 New York Times Bestseller Outliers and podcast Revisionist History, Gladwell examines a plethora of well-known historical and cultural events, from Castro and the CIA to the trial of Amanda Knox, to explore the ways in which we trust others and why we so often get it wrong.

About Malcolm Gladwell

The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, David and Goliath, Talking to Strangers, and The Bomber Mafia are just a few of Malcom Gladwell's long list of New York Times bestsellers. Additionally, he co-founded the audiobook and podcast production company Pushkin Industries.


The Thin Book of Trust:

An Essential Primer for Building Trust at Work

11 The Thin Book of Trust- An Essential Primer for Building Trust at WorkBy: Charles Feltman

Published: July 7th, 2021

Print Length: 84 pages

Buy on Amazon

Now into its 2nd edition twelve years after its original publication, The Thin Book of Trust is Charles Feltman’s take on building a cohesive approach toward trust being the framework by which your company or organization can run efficiently and effectively. Speaking from over 30 years of experience consulting Fortune 500 companies, Feltman is able to offer decades of firsthand experience for anyone interested in utilizing trust to make sure their business thrives.

About Charles Feltman

Charles Feltman was a member of the early Silicon Valley high-tech industry boom in the 1980s before starting his coaching and consulting company, Insight Coaching. In the 1970s, he also held executive roles in the administration of higher education. Charles has a BA in psychology from UCSC and a master's degree in organizational development from USC.


Trusted Leader:

8 Pillars That Drive Results

12 Trusted Leader- 8 Pillars That Drive ResultsBy: David Horsager

Published: March 30th, 2021

Print Length: 200 pages

Buy on Amazon

The Eight Pillars of Trust (Clarity, Compassion, Character, Competency, Commitment, Connection, Contribution, and Consistency) form the basis of David Horsager’s Trusted Leader, and are the culmination of Horsager’s substantial research and experience working with leading companies and government agencies. Charting the path of CEO Ethan Parker, it combines storytelling with advice and guidance on how to make trust the driving force behind your leadership.

About David Horsager

David Horsager is the bestselling author of The Trust Edge and CEO of Trust Edge Leadership Institute. David has carried the platform across the United States and to all six continents with clients ranging from Fortune 100 firms to professional sports teams and international governments. He created The Enterprise Trust Index and is the driving force behind The Trust Outlook, the nation's top trust research.


The 10 Laws of Trust:

Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great

13 The 10 Laws of Trust- Building the Bonds That Make a Business GreatBy: Joel Peterson

Published: May 10th, 2016

Print Length: 128 pages

Buy on Amazon

How is it that global giants like Enron can fail, while small enterprises like John Deere can grow into multinational figures? These are the kinds of questions asked by Joel Peterson in The 10 Laws of Trust, and they go a long way to explaining how trust builds an organization to be greater than the sum of its parts, or when lacking can bring about its downfall. 

About Joel Peterson

Joel Peterson is the founder and chairman of Peterson Partners (an investment management company with offices in Salt Lake City), and JetBlue Airways. Joel has been a member of the Stanford University faculty since 1992, where he teaches real estate investment, entrepreneurship, and leadership courses. He formerly led the largest private commercial real estate development company in the world, Trammell Crow Company, as its CEO, and graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor's degree before obtaining an MBA from Harvard Business School.



America’s Best Chance

14 Trust- America’s Best ChanceBy: Pete Buttigieg

Published: October 26th, 2020

Print Length: 224 pages

Buy on Amazon

Pete Buttigieg sprung to national prominence through his 2020 Presidential campaign, but before that he spent 8 years as Mayor of South Bend, Indiana. Through Buttiegieg’s own experiences, alongside a mixture of history and political philosophy, Trust lays plain the ways in which trust positively impacts our social prosperity and can help us to overcome the many barriers we face in modern times.

About Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is currently the US secretary of transportation. A Rhodes Scholar and former Navy officer, he received his education at the Universities of Oxford and Harvard.


Trust Me:

Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain World

15 Trust Me- Restore Belief & Confidence in an Uncertain WorldBy: Lea Brovedani

Published: June 5th, 2019

Print Length: 198 pages

Buy on Amazon

Trust Me is adult education expert Lea Brovedani’s take on the ways in which trust is the defining factor in so many successes and failures of life. Brovedani uses Trust Me to question how and why we so often disregard trust, when it is integral for getting anywhere we may want to be in any avenue of business or life.

About Lea Brovedani

Lea Brovedani has spent the past 15 years collaborating with clients in North America and Asia to develop programs that concentrate on particular requirements and areas of concern. Lea spent the entire year of 2011–2012 in Mumbai, India, providing programs to clients in Singapore, Indonesia, and all around India. Her clients include ADP Chicago, Bank of Montreal, Canadian Forces Atlantic, CSAE, Nurses Union, Workmen's Compensation, FedEx, Suryawanshi School in Nishik, India, and the U.S. Army Corp of Chaplains are just a few of the clients.


Trust and Inspire:

How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others

16 Trust and Inspire- How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in OthersBy: Stephen M.R. Covey

Published: April 5th, 2022

Print Length: 368 pages

Buy on Amazon

Bestselling author Stephen M.R. Covey uses Trust and Inspire to really analyze the difference between management and leadership, laying out the ways in which institutions and individuals can often focus on an idea of ‘command and control’ rather than displaying inspirational leadership. With the extreme changes we’ve seen to working models in the past couple of years, Covey’s work is essential for any leader to understand how to develop and maintain trust in a more dispersed and diverse workforce.

About Stephen M.R. Covey

Stephen M. R. Covey is the author of The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything, which has been included on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. He served as the Covey Direction Center's previous CEO, and under his leadership, it grew to be the largest leadership development organization in the world. According to CEO Magazine, Stephen directly oversaw the plan that helped his father, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, turn The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People into one of the two most important business books of the 20th century.

Trust Signals:

Brand Building in a Post-Truth World

17 Trust Signals-1By: Scott Baradell

Published: October 18, 2022

Print Length: 263 pages

Buy on Amazon

In Trust Signals, Scott lays out a clear, detailed, practical, and integrated approach to making it easier for people to say "yes" with confidence. And he does so with historical context, smart pop culture references, and full clarity on the fragmentation of trust that characterizes our post-truth reality. Whether you take these ideas and frameworks as a calling to elevate the practice of PR, as a guidebook to integrating your marketing efforts, or as a snapshot of the shifting media environment, just take care to absorb, prioritize, and implement. Your ability to guide each person through their unique, nonlinear journey of buying from, staying with, and referring you will grow. (From a review by Ethan Beute, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Human-Centered Communication and Rehumanize Your Business.)

About Scott Baradell

Scott Baradell is a writer and entrepreneur who grew his PR agency, Idea Grove, with business generated by its popular blog. Idea Grove is one of the top 25 tech PR agencies in the United States, a three-time Inc. 5000 company, and an Inc. Best Workplace in 2021 and 2022. In 2020, Scott started a second blog, Trust Signals, to provide news, analysis, and practical advice on what it takes to build trust with customers and the public in today’s post-truth world. The blog inspired and culminates in this book. Before Idea Grove, Scott was the chief communications officer for two billion-dollar companies, the co-founder and CMO of a venture-backed startup, and an award-winning journalist.

Who Can You Trust:

How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us Apart

18 Who Can You Trust- How Technology Brought Us Together and Why It Might Drive Us ApartBy: Rachel Botsman

Published: November 14th, 2017

Print Length: 368 pages

Buy on Amazon

Within Who Can You Trust Rachel Botsman claims that we are at a crucial juncture in society as we arrive at an age of ‘distributed trust’, in which trust in traditional institutions has plummeted, but an entire new web of digital interactions has changed the face of trust as we know it. In order to manage this transition, Botsman has created this book as a guide on the ways in which we can harness these key paradigm shifts for the better. 

About Rachel Botsman

What's Mine Is Yours, Rachel Botsman's debut book, was selected as one of TIME's "Ten Ideas That Will Change the World" in 2010 and was also a finalist for the 800-CEO-Read Business Book Awards. She teaches the world’s first MBA course on the collaborative economy, which she designed, at Oxford University’s Saïd School of Business. She is a contributing editor to Wired magazine and has been published in a number of prestigious international journals, including Harvard Business Review, Economist, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and others. She was named one of Fast Company's "Most Creative People in Business," the World Economic Forum named her a "Young Global Leader," and she is listed Thinkers50's 2016 Radar list of emerging management thinkers.

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