Brand Management – Which companies have the best reputations?

Of all the companies, has the best reputation with American consumers, according to a recent report by Nielsen and The Harris Poll.

The ranking was based on survey data from 14,055 Americans who were asked to rate companies with which they were familiar or very familiar. Specifically, respondents rated each company on six dimensions: social responsibility, corporate vision and leadership, financial performance, emotional appeal, products/services, and work environment.

Each of the top 60 “visible” companies (i.e. those that consumers were most familiar with) was then assigned an overall combined “reputation quotient” (RQ) score of 1 to 100, 80 and more equivalent to an excellent reputation; 75-79, very good; 70-74, good; 65-69, fair; 55-64 years old, poor; 50-54 years old, very poor; and below 50, critical. received the highest score of 83.87, followed by Coca-Cola (82.68). Other companies in the top 10 were Apple (81.76), The Walt Disney Company (81.50), Honda (80.87), Costco (80.75), Samsung (80.65), Whole Foods (8, 45), Microsoft (80.11) and Sony (79.77).

Johnson & Johnson and Google, which were both highly rated last year, saw significant drops in their scores and fell outside the top 10 rated companies.

Corporate America’s overall reputation has improved from its 2009 low, although only 33% of respondents rate it as excellent/very good.

The tech and travel sectors have the best reputations, with most consumers viewing them favorably.

Financial services, tobacco and government industries have the worst reputations among respondents.

About research: The report was based on two surveys: the first questioned 4,028 Americans to determine the most “visible” companies, and the second asked 14,055 about their impressions of the most well-known companies.

Cathy W. Howerton