The Least Respected Company in America Is Not a Company at All

Well-known research firm Harris recently issued its 2019 corporate reputation survey. The U.S. government was at the bottom of the results. Even tobacco company Philip Morris and bankrupt retailer Sears ranked higher.

The Harris study, which has been renamed the Axios Harris Poll 100 this year, is two decades old. For the 2019 results, it questioned 18,228 people in the United States. The research covers what Harris describes as the “public’s top of mind awareness of companies who either excelled or faltered in society.” The companies covered by the study have to be visible enough for a set number of Americans to have an opinion based on the Harris methodology.

At the top of the list was a very small grocery chain, which had the best reputation of any company in America. The company, grocery retailer Wegmans, which had a score of 83, was followed at the top of the list mostly by retail and tech companies. Amazon, the 2018 winner, was second, with a score of 82.3. Another reasonably small company was third on the Harris list. Patagonia, which makes outdoor clothes, had a rating of 81.4. Another small retailer, L.L. Bean, was in fourth place with a score of 80.7. It has only 55 locations. In fifth place, Disney had a score of 80.4. It was followed by regional grocery store Publix, which has 1,250 locations and a score of 80.3. In seventh place, Samsung has a rating of 80.0, followed by Procter & Gamble with a grade of 79.8 and Microsoft with a rating of 79.7. Rounding out the top 10, Sony had a score of 79.4.

The U.S. government had a score of 48.6. Just above it in 99th place was tobacco company Philip Morris with a rating of 49.4, and then the Trump Organization with a score of 50.1. Sears had a score of 52.3, and it is one of the retailers that will close the most stores in 2019.

The U.S. government is the only organization on the entire Harris list that is not a company.  It even has some distinctions among nations. For instance, it is the country that spends the most on war. Nevertheless, it was among the “public’s top of mind awareness of companies who either excelled or faltered in society,” according to the respondents.

Rank Brand Score Change
91 Comcast 61.4 −13
92 Bank of America 60.9 n/a
93 Goldman Sachs 60.0 −1
94 Facebook 58.1 −43
95 Dish 56.9 −6
96 Wells Fargo 52.7 +1
97 Sears 52.3 −9
98 Trump Org. 50.1 −2
99 Philip Morris 49.4 n/a
100 U.S. Government 48.6 n/a