The Harris Poll released its 17th annual Reputation Quotient® (RQ®) Summary Report, revealing corporate reputation ratings for the 100 most visible companies in the U.S., as perceived by the general public. Amazon reclaimed the top spot, marking the eighth consecutive year the online retailer has ranked in the top ten, while Volkswagen Group dropped to the bottom.
The top ten companies for corporate reputation in 2016 are (in order): Amazon, Apple, Google, USAA, The Walt Disney Company, Publix Super Markets, Samsung, Berkshire Hathaway, Johnson & Johnson, and Kellogg Company. USAA and Kellogg Company are newcomers to the RQ top ten, while Berkshire Hathaway returns to the top ten for the first time since 2008 and The Walt Disney Company returns after slipping to #12 in 2015. The Harris Poll 2016 Reputation Quotient Summary Report can be found at www.theharrispoll.com/reputation-quotient.
“Best-in-class companies demonstrate that corporate reputation matters – to your customers, employees, potential hires, business partners and investors,” said Sarah Simmons, senior reputation consultant at Nielsen, which owns The Harris Poll. “Not only does it matter, but corporate reputation is critically important to measure and understand in the context of your company’s business goals. A positive reputation can provide competitive advantages and help your company achieve its objectives while a poor one can obstruct your ability to execute against your business plan.”
The RQ, an important baseline for managing reputation and identifying new market risks and opportunities, measures companies’ reputation strength based on the perceptions of more than 23,000 Americans across 20 attributes classified into six corporate reputation dimensions: Social Responsibility, Emotional Appeal, Products and Services, Vision and Leadership, Financial Performance, and Workplace Environment. The reputations of the 100 most visible U.S. companies range from “excellent” (scores of 80+) to “very poor “(scores of 50 to 54). In this year’s study, the top nine companies earned “excellent” scores and 35 companies received “very good” scores.
Most Prominent Declines
In light of its recent emissions scandal, Volkswagen Group declined steeply, dropping 20.5 points overall from a “very good” (75.21) score in 2015 to a “very poor” (54.75) rating in 2016. The only company to receive a “very poor” RQ rating this year, Volkswagen Group also fell more than 25 points on Emotional Appeal (includes attributes of trust, admiration and respect) and 20 points on Social Responsibility (includes attributes of environmental and community responsibility).
CVS (-5.0) and Starbucks (-4.6) also experienced declines, dropping from “very good” to “good” ratings. JCPenney, which showed the largest RQ increase in 2015, fell four points to a “poor” RQ score.
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