In a free market economy, competing companies must not only try to offer superior products or services, but also cultivate a positive public image. Generally, businesses with good reputations are better-positioned to bring in investors, attract top talent, and maintain a loyal customer base. During the tumultuous months of 2020, many companies have had a unique opportunity to distinguish themselves — for better or worse.
In addition to offering innovative and sought-after products and services, the companies with the best reputations are also generally those that have strong growth prospects and a vision for the future. These companies are generally trusted and seen as good places to work. Corporate values and strong ethics also influence public perception. And some companies appear to understand this better than others.
For the 21st consecutive year, the Axios Harris Poll surveyed thousands of Americans on their perceptions of the 100 most visible companies in the United States. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the results of the Harris Poll to determine the companies with the best and worst reputations.
Many of the companies that rank among the most reputable are those that have played a vital role during the coronavirus pandemic. Among them are four brick-and-mortar retailers and an e-commerce giant that reliably provided for their customers during a time of deep uncertainty. Also among them are companies that manufacture products that have proved essential during the pandemic. Many of these companies have also donated money, time, and products to fight COVID-19 and reduce its impact. Here is a look at some of the companies that have helped Americans fight COVID-19.
In contrast to the companies with the best reputations, many of those with the worst reputations have been mired in scandal in recent years. They tend to not have the public’s trust, and they notably have not generally been seen as essential service providers during the pandemic. In fact, reduced business caused by COVID-19 may ultimately lead to the demise of at least one company among those with the worst reputations. Here is a list of American businesses that might not survive the coronavirus.