Corporations rise and fall on their reputation, depending on the trust and confidence of their employees and customers, as well as the faith of their shareholders.
Companies spend decades burnishing their reputations. But as many companies and organizations ruefully discover, it does not take long for a scandal or corrupt corporate culture to taint a reputation for years. Rebuilding trust is among the most difficult issues a tarnished company can face. In the case of Facebook, concerns over privacy and unauthorized access to customers’ data have had a negative impact on the company’s reputation and the personal wealth of CEO Mark Zuckerberg — though he still ranks among the highest paid business leaders in the country. For other companies like Sears Holdings, its reputation has waned because of poor service, few items on shelves, and store closures.
For the 20th consecutive year, the Harris Poll Reputation Quotient ranked the world’s most visible companies and organizations by reputation. The organizations considered range from online retailers like Amazon.com to brick and mortar shopping centers like Walmart; and from the massive U.S. government down to regional grocery chains like Publix. 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.
Grocery store and supermarket chains Wegmans and Publix enjoy good reputations because of their connections to the community and contributions to social causes. For consumer electronics companies Sony and Samsung, which also enjoy good reputations, innovation was key.
In the most recent Harris Poll ranking, companies with bad reputations were found in the financial services and telecommunications areas, and that has been typical in previous years. These companies were chided for bad service, not speedily addressing missteps, and failing to provide a supportive work environment.
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 2019 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.