AUCKLAND: Air New Zealand has been named as the most reputable brand in New Zealand, according to new rankings of the country's top corporate firms.

The airliner topped the first annual Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index, which measured companies across four measures – social responsibility, fairness, success and trust.

Leading brands in New Zealand were assessed according to the RepZ model, developed by parent company Millward Brown, the market research agency, combined with feedback from 500 consumers per industry category.

Compared with the global average RepZ score of 100 points, Air New Zealand scored 118 points overall and was also the highest placed for trust (125) and social responsibility (117).

It also came second for success, coming behind US technology giant Apple, while Japanese automaker Toyota topped the category for fairness.

Following Air New Zealand in the top ten, other brands included Z Energy (114 points), Fisher & Paykel, the appliance manufacturer (112), Toyota (111), AA Insurance (110), Apple (107), Meridian, the energy firm (107), Kiwibank (106), New Zealand Post (106) and The Warehouse, the discount retailer (106).

Of particular note, the research found that almost three-quarters (74%) of consumers said they would buy from companies with a RepZ score of 105 or more, but this dropped rapidly to 46% concerning companies that scored 95 or below.

With social media now so ubiquitous, Colmar Brunton chief executive Jacqueline Farman warned that it's essential brands maintain a strong corporate reputation.

"The top 13 companies on the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index all achieved 'strong' RepZ scores of 105 or more, which would place them in the top 10% of businesses globally," she said. "Corporate reputation is important no matter what industry you operate in, and it has a material effect on your sales."

The survey comes just a week after a separate reputation index from research consultancy AMR ranked Air New Zealand in fifth place in Australia, where it overtook Qantas and Virgin Australia, and coincides with the airline's celebration of its 75th anniversary.

Data sourced from Colmar Brunton, The Australian, National Business Review; additional content by Warc staff