The American companies with the best reputations do not have a great deal of common on the surface. They run from Coca-Cola to Amazon.com to Whole Foods. However, according to the 2014 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study, they share several features.
Harris has conducted the study for 15 years. Over that period, its has refined how it defines reputation. It breaks these factors into six categories: social responsibility, vision and leadership, emotional appeal, financial performance, workplace environment, and products and services. It uses these to determine each company’s “reputation quotient” (RQ), the score of which can run as high as 100. Amazon, the top company on the list, scored 83.87. Bank of America, at the bottom of the 60 companies considered, posted a score of 55.34. The only company that scored at the highest end across all six categories was Coca-Cola. Some companies can do very badly against some indicators and well against others. Sony has done terribly for investors, but its PS4 is wildly successful.
These are the 10 companies with the best reputations.
1. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is not only by far the largest e-commerce company in the country, it is also one of the premier providers of tablet PCs, streaming video and free shipping for a large part of its customer base. Amazon routinely shows up at or near the top of retail customers satisfaction surveys. Investors also have reason to be thrilled with Amazon. Its shares have risen 300% in the past five years, and its revenue has gone from $24.5 billion in its 2009 fiscal year to $74.4 billion in its most recent one.
2. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is among the oldest in America, founded in 1886. In the 2013 Interbrand Best Global Brands survey, Coca-Cola finished third at $79.3 billion. For a huge company, Coke has posted remarkable growth over the past five years, both through organic expansion and acquisitions. Revenue was $31.0 billion in 2009 and $46.9 billion last year. Coke also effectively has diversified into the water and juice businesses with products such as Minute Maid and Dasani.
3. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is the world’s most valuable brand, according to the most recent Interbrand Global survey, at $98.3 billion last year. Over the course of less than a decade and a half, Apple changed the music, phone and PC industries radically with the successive introductions of the iPod, iPhone and iPad. Apple also created huge content and software stores with the launches of iTunes and the App Store. Despite what has been viewed as a slowdown in product introductions, Apple’s shares are up 350% in the past five years. Revenue has grown from $42.9 billion in fiscal 2009 to $170.9 billion in the most recent year.
4. Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) Disney brand was the 14th most valuable in the 2013 Interbrand Survey, at $28.1 billion. Disney has been a major entertainment brand since Walt Disney founded the company in 1923. Since then, Disney has added movie studio, television, news, theme park and online game businesses. Disney’s revenue has grown from $34.1 billion in 2009 to $45.0 billion in the most recently reported year.