Special Report

Companies With the Best (and Worst) Reputations

> Reputation score:
> 2015 score: 78.22
> Industry: Insurance
> CEO: Stuart Parker

Banks and other financial institutions have among the worst collective reputation of any major industry. This makes USAA’s rank as the visible brand with the the fourth best reputation in the country all the more impressive. In the six components of corporate reputation, USAA is rated best for its emotional appeal and social responsibility. The company provides insurance to former and current members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The company became the official Military Appreciation Sponsor of the NFL in 2011. This increased visibility may have increased the company’s good standing. USAA also has a positive reputation for its workplace environment. The organization ranks 36th among Fortune’s 100 best companies to work for.

3. Google  (NASDAQ: GOOG)
> Reputation score:
> 2015 score: 80.44
> Industry: Search
> CEO: Sundar Pichai

In the six components of corporate reputation, Google rated best for its workplace environment. In addition to generous health insurance and benefits, Google offers its employees numerous on-campus amenities such as exercise facilities, shuttles to work, and generous paid leave. But Google rates high not only among its employees, but also among its customers. The company’s reputation has improved significantly since last year, when it was ranked 10th. According to Google, there are more than 1 billion registered Android users, accounting for more than eight in every 10 smartphones worldwide. Google is also the most well-regarded search engine. With about 2.3 million searches per minute, Google has the largest reach of nearly any company. On the ACSI, Google ranks the highest in customer satisfaction of any Internet search engine.

2. Apple  (NASDAQ: AAPL)
> Reputation score:
> 2015 score: 80.69
> Industry: Consumer technology
> CEO: Tim Cook

Apple announced its first quarterly revenue decline since 2003 last month due to disappointing sales from the iPhone. Despite the decline, the company remains one of the most profitable companies in the United States. Apple continues to improve on its longtime stellar reputation, moving up from ninth place in the 2015 Harris reputation survey to second in 2016. The country’s largest tech companies tend to have a reputation for quality products as well as superlative customer service, yet Apple stands above the rest. The company receives the highest scores of any company among both personal computing and mobile phone companies on the ACSI. In the Harris reputation survey, Apple beats out all other major companies in vision and leadership as well as in financial performance.

1. Amazon  (NASDAQ: AMZN)
> Reputation score:
> 2015 score: 83.72
> Industry: Internet Retail
> CEO: Jeff Bezos

Of the six categories of corporate reputation, Amazon ranks the highest in emotional appeal and products and services. Emotional appeal includes attributes such as admiration, trust, and respect, and nearly all of Amazon’s respondents gave it the highest possible rating in this category. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has repeatedly emphasized reputation as the key to the company’s success. Throughout the company’s history, innovations such as one-click ordering, same day delivery, and customer reviews have have helped Amazon nurture trust among its customers. Amazon is now the ninth largest U.S. retailer by revenue, and by far the largest online retailer.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.