What companies and brands can you trust?

- Every year the average consumer has to make a lot of decisions. Where to go grocery shopping? Which car to buy or lease? Which bank will keep your money safe? Those are just some to name a few. So how do you know which brands and companies you can really trust, especially after hearing about countless recalls and security breaches?

"When you walk into a store or a restaurant, pull up their Instagram, pull up their Facebook and take a look around to see if those images and that content matches what is in the store," said James Monahan, founder of Monahan PR. "If that's something that got you there and it looks exactly the same and it's what you were expecting, I think you can see that's a good example of transparency."

Monahan is a public relations and marketing expert who represents clients from several different industries, including restaurants, spirits, fashion brands, and artists. He does not represent the clothing brand Adidas, but considers it to be a company with practices he advises his clients to mimic, regardless of industry.

"The more creative they get with their products, whether it's their shoes or their hats or their track suits, the price never jumps up. The quality is the same," Monahan said. "It's always something new, something creative and you can walk into any of their shops in New York or anywhere around the world and the price is in the exact same dollar."

We spoke to shoppers along Madison Avenue to see how they build trust.  Most of them told us they listen to what other consumers have to say about a company instead of experiencing a business firsthand.

Monahan's biggest piece of advice for consumers, no matter the industry, is to do your research before you make a purchase. Ask questions and find out what the brand or company really stands for.

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