Grocery store and supermarket chains make up a large share of the most reputable companies this year. Of the 10 companies with the best reputations, four are grocery stores: Wegmans, HEB, Publix, and Aldi. Kroger, another grocery store chain, ranks among the top 20 companies in 2018.
While high ranking grocers on this list generally have happy employees and are active in philanthropic causes, they also partially owe their strong reputations to their industry. According to Harris Poll, grocery stores appeal to the American public because of their close connection to the community and the natural comfort they provide as purveyors of food.
The quality of a company’s products or services also has a considerable impact on its public reputation. For several companies on this list, a reputation for quality coupled with a clear set of values have garnered a loyal customer base. Fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A with its Christian values and clothing company Patagonia with its commitment to environmental protection are two such companies.
Among the companies with the worst reputations, corporate scandal is a common culprit for their fall from public grace. High-profile scandals, including sexual misconduct at the Weinstein Company, account fraud at Wells Fargo, and potential conflicts of interest in The Trump Organization are largely the reasons why these companies rank among those with the worst reputations.
A scandal for one company can have an impact on an entire industry. This year, Equifax ranks among the companies with the worst reputations after a data breach at the company exposed the personal information of nearly 150 million Americans.
Though distinct from Equifax, Experian is in the same business and also provides personal data, account summaries of loans or lines of credit, public records, and history of credit checks. Experian relies on much the same security procedures and software that Equifax does, and largely as a result, it also ranks among the companies with the worst reputation for the first time.
To determine America’s most and least reputable companies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed reputation scores of the nation’s 100 most recognizable companies from the 2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ), produced by market research firm Harris Insights and Analytics. The study consists of two parts: a nominations stage in which consumers identify the nation’s most visible companies, followed by a ratings stage, in which each company’s reputation is measured on a scale of 0-100. Additional company information came from SEC filings and other publicly available documents.