Apple tops reputation charts

16 February 2012

NEW YORK: Apple, Google and Coca-Cola are the brands boasting the best corporate reputations among US consumers, a study has revealed.

Harris Interactive, the research firm, polled 17,000 adults, just 22% of which had a positive view of "corporate America". Moreover, only 9% agreed the standing of businesses had improved in the last 12 months, versus 60% pointing to a decline.

Apple, the electronics manufacturer, claimed top spot on 85.6 points, the highest score recorded in the study's history, and a figure that can be compared with the 62.1 points it registered in 2000.

The company posted the best returns on four of the six metrics assessed: products and services, vision and leadership, financial performance and workplace environment, securing over 86 points in each field.

Google, the online giant, saw totals drop by 1.2 points to 82.2 points year on year, while Coca-Cola, the drinks specialist gained 1.6 points, taking it to 81.9 points.

Amazon, the ecommerce pioneer, also had 81.9 points and led the "emotional appeals" ratings. Kraft, the food group, made up the top five on 81.6 points.

In all, eight companies received "excellent" scores of more than 80 points, down by half on 2011. "Corporations are facing significant headwinds as they try to win and preserve consumer trust," said Robert Fronk, an EVP at Harris Interactive.

Elsewhere, the study found that 71% of the sample would "definitely" buy products from Amazon in the future, reaching 70% when discussing Kraft and 64% for Coca-Cola.

Similarly, 64% of contributors would "definitely" recommend goods and services offered by Amazon to others, coming in at 57% for Kraft.

By category, the technology industry posted the best ratings, with a balance between positive and negative feedback totals standing at 69% in favour, a gap that surpassed 40% for travel/tourism and retail.

In assessing the economic climate, 53% of shoppers said technology firms were "part of the solution", beating manufacturing on 41%, retailers on 39% and the consumer products industry on 36%.

By contrast, 75% of respondents perceived banking as "part of the problem", as did 70% concerning financial services and 52% looking at insurance providers. Pharma was also on 50% here.

Data sourced from Harris Interactive; additional content by Warc staff