Special Report

Companies With the Best (and Worst) Reputations

5. Johnson & Johnson
> Reputation score: 80.95
> 2012 score: 80.45
> 1-yr. stock performance: 17.1%
> 12 month sales: $67.22 billion

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is one of just six companies to receive a score over 80. The company was ranked in the top five in four of the six reputational dimensions: fourth in social responsibility, third in emotional appeal, third in products and services, and fourth in workplace environment. Johnson & Johnson is the only company in the U.S. to receive a reputation score of at least 80 in every single year between 2006 to 2013. With the company’s reputation taking a hit over the last several years due to a host of product recalls, J&J has taken decisive action and managed to restore its image in the last year. Among the moves the company has taken were replacing its CEO and phasing out the use of certain chemicals in its cosmetics and toiletries.

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4. Google
> Reputation score: 81.32
> 2012 score: 82.82
> 1-yr. stock performance: 29.2%
> 12 month sales: $50.18 billion

Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) has a strong reputation among both its customers and its employees. Nearly 44% of customers rate Google’s customer service as “excellent,” while another 41% rate it as “good.” Just 3% rate its service as “poor.” The company also has a reputation for being a workers’ paradise. Google was ranked as the “Best Place to Work” by Fortune in 2012 for the second year in a row. According to the magazine, the company added “three wellness centers and a seven-acre sports complex, which includes a roller hockey rink; courts for basketball, bocce, and shuffle ball; and horseshoe pits.” Interbrand ranked Google as the fourth-most valuable brand in its recent study, noting the brand’s worth rose 26% in a one-year timeframe.

3. Disney
> Reputation score: 82.12
> 2012 score: 81.28
> 1-yr. stock performance: 32.6%
> 12 month sales: $42.84 billion

For the third consecutive year, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) has a reputation score above 80, making it one of the nation’s most reputable companies. The company has a stronger emotional appeal with consumers than any other well-known company except Amazon.com, according to Harris Interactive. The research company also ranks Disney as having exceptionally strong financial performance, trailing only Apple among the 60 companies Harris surveyed. In the last 12 months, Disney shares have risen more than 32% — more than all of the other of the most reputable companies except Amazon.com. Disney additionally is among the top-ranked companies by Harris for social responsibility, vision and leadership and workplace environment.

2. Apple
> Reputation score: 82.54
> 2012 score: 85.62
> 1-yr. stock performance: -5.4%
> 12 month sales: $164.69 billion

After ranking as the nation’s most reputable company in 2012, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) fell to the No. 2 spot in 2013. The company’s financial performance also slowed. The company’s most recent quarter disappointed investors as earnings remained flat and Apple’s profit margins shrank. Its shares are down about 5% from this time last year. Despite the recent disappointment to investors, most consumers are happy with the company. Apple is ACSI’s top rated company for consumer satisfaction among both cell phone and computer manufacturers. Additionally, more than 40% of customers rate the company’s service as “excellent.” This helps boost the company’s appeal to consumers. Apple’s brand value rose 129% in 2012, according to Interbrand, which ranked the device and computer maker as having the world’s second most valuable brand. Apple was also ranked as the world’s top brand by BrandZ.

1. Amazon.com
> Reputation score: 82.62
> 2012 score: 81.92
> 1-yr. stock performance: 45.2%
> 12-month sales: $61.09 billion

Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is considered the most reputable company in the world, according to Harris Interactive. It was the fourth-most reputable company in 2012 and eighth-most reputable in 2011. Amazon.com received the highest scores for its emotional appeal and its products and services. It also scored in the top five in vision and leadership, financial performance and workplace environment. More than 53% of participants in a survey by MSN Money and JZ Analytics rated Amazon.com’s customer service as “excellent”–the highest percent for any company– while a mere 1.8% rated it as “poor.”  Customer happiness seems to be reflected in the online retailer’s financial performance. Its sales in the trailing 12 months were greater than $61 billion, and sales for the most recent quarter were 22% higher compared to the same time a year earlier.