Corporations benefit tremendously when they have the trust and confidence of their employees, customers, and shareholders. Similarly, a scandal or perceptions of impropriety can spell doom for a business — or at the very least, tarnish a company’s reputation for years and even decades. In short, companies can live or die by their reputation.
The importance of public perception in the corporate world is underscored by America’s more than $13 billion public relations industry. Still, corporate PR spending is only the tip of the iceberg. A strong reputation can take years, or even decades to build, and everything a company does in the public eye, intentionally or not — including its core business — influences public opinion.
For the 19th consecutive year, the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ranked the world’s most visible companies by reputation. The poll asked respondents to rate each company based on six measures: social responsibility, products and service, emotional appeal, leadership, financial performance, and workplace environment.
The highest ranking companies this year share similar characteristics, including commitment to their values, strong community relations, and furthering worthy social causes. Meanwhile, the companies with the worst reputations typically have either been embroiled in scandal, or are perceived as hindering social progress or as having a toxic work environment.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient to identify the companies with the best and worst reputations. Most companies are not strangers to their respective side of the list. Still, a handful rank among the most reputable or least reputable for the first time.