Special Report

Companies With the Best (and Worst) Reputations

5. Honda
> Reputation score: 80.87
> 2013 score: 74.22

Honda Motor Co. Ltd.’s (NYSE: HMC) reputation has improved considerably in recent years, climbing from 25th last year to the top-five this year. A number of Hondas made Edmunds.com’s recent 50 most popular cars list, including the Honda Accord in the number one spot. The CR-V has also performed very well in recent years, leading all SUVs in U.S. sales last year. Honda’s reputation may be well-deserved, considering the outstanding reviews for reliability its cars received. Honda and its luxury brand Acura were both rated among the nation’s most dependable car brands by J.D. Power’s 2014 Vehicle Dependability Survey.

4. Walt Disney
> Reputation score: 81.50
> 2013 score: 82.12

The Walt Disney Co.’s (NYSE: DIS) reputation has slipped down from third place last year to fourth this year. Still, the media and entertainment company is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, and for the fourth consecutive year had a reputation score of just above 80. Disney World in Orlando, Fla., remains among the most popular vacation destinations in America. Disney’s theme parks generated more than $14 billion in revenue in fiscal year 2013, while its interactive division, which produces console and mobile games, revenue rose by more than 26% to $1.06 billion that year, making it the fastest growing division in the company. Disney has an exceptionally strong reputation for financial performance as well as social responsibility, and leadership, according to the Harris Poll.

3. Apple
> Reputation score: 81.76
> 2013 score: 82.54

For more than a decade, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has been at the forefront of innovation as the iPod, iPhone and iPad revolutionized their markets. As a result, Apple became one of the nation’s most reputable in recent years. Apple even toppled Coca-Cola as the world’s most valuable brand last year, according to Interbrand, and was also BrandZ’s most valuable brand. The technology giant received higher marks from the Harris Poll for its products and services rank than any other company except for Amazon.com. Apple also received high marks for its financial performance, hardly surprising given its exponential growth.

2. Coca-Cola
> Reputation score: 82.68
> 2013 score: 80.39

The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) has received a reputation score hovering around 80 for all 15 years the poll has been conducted. This year, the company’s reputation among consumers is unique. No other company ranked in the top five in each of the six reputation measurements in the Harris Poll. Coca-Cola was the poll’s top rated company for its financial performance, as well as in vision and leadership. Coca-Cola has long been one of the world’s most recognizable and valuable brands. While it lost the top spot last year to Apple, prior to that, it was the world’s most valuable brand for 13 consecutive years, according to Interbrand.

1. Amazon.com
> Reputation score: 83.87
> 2013 score: 82.62

For the second consecutive year, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is the most reputable company in the United States, with a reputation score of 83.87, an improvement from its score of 82.62 in 2013. The company also scored first in the emotional appeal, products and services and workplace environment categories. Amazon.com started as an online bookstore in 1995, when online shopping was still in its pioneering days. Since then, it has become the world’s largest e-commerce company. Last year, Amazon.com had the highest customer satisfaction score of any company tracked by the ACSI, tied with Mercedez-Benz. The company also received the nation’s top score for customer satisfaction, with more than 57% of respondents to a Zogby Analytics poll deeming service excellent, by far the best score of any company.

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