Quick thoughts on the Reputation Quotient® report

This week the Harris Poll®, owned by Nielsen, released the 17th annual Reputation Quotient® Summary Report, revealing how the general public perceives the 100 most visible companies in the United States.

The report includes results gathered from surveying 25,800 adults in the U.S. who were asked to measure such qualities as social responsibility, vision and leadership, products and services, financial performance, emotional appeal and workplace environment.

Right away Reuters noticed that Apple and Google ranked significantly lower than in previous years, and Tesla rose from No. 9 to No. 3 despite reports of slow deliveries of its Model S and Model X vehicles. Meanwhile, Amazon retained the top spot for four of the last five years.

Here are the top ten companies in this year’s Reputation Quotient report:
1. Amazon.com
2. Wegmans
3. Tesla Motors
4. Chick-fil-A
5. The Walt Disney Company
6. HEB Grocery
7. UPS
8. Publix Super Markets
9. Patagonia
10. Aldi

It struck me immediately that four of the top ten are grocery stores, which have physical locations in many neighborhoods and provide opportunities for high-touch customer interactions. In fact, Amazon’s top ranking may have been bolstered by its acquisition of Whole Foods.

Even though tech companies comprise many of the world’s most valuable brands, there’s no direct correlation between brand value and public perception. Here’s how some of the world’s most valuable brands fared as far as Reputation Quotient.

1. Google (No. 28 in Reputation Quotient rankings)
2. Apple (No. 29)
3. Microsoft (No. 11)
4. Amazon (No. 1)
5. Facebook (No. 51)
6. AT&T (No. 70)
9. IBM (No. 32)

While I would not draw the conclusion that technology companies are facing a backlash among U.S. consumers, I would look to the continuing trend of consumers valuing positive personal experiences and supporting companies that share their values.

What companies do you admire? Take a look at the list to see where they rank.

Author: Glenn Gillen, APR
Glenn Gillen is our Senior Account Manager.

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