The Harris Poll recently completed their annual ‘Reputation Quotient’ Survey. In this survey, Harris interviewed 14,000 people who rated America’s most visible companies based on six key characteristics that make up the company’s reputation: Social Responsibility, Vision, Products & Services, Trust, Workplace Environment and Financial Performance.
The survey found that people believe that ‘great’ companies behave ethically while providing a product or service at a good value. People admire and trust companies that are socially responsible and provide a good place to work.
Only Whole Foods Market and The Walt Disney Company rated as ‘excellent’ on social responsibility. The best workplaces were Google, Disney, Apple, Johnson & Johnson and Amazon. On vision and leadership, Apple, Amazon, Disney, Google and Berkshire Hathaway all rated highly while the best products were viewed as coming from Amazon, Apple, Johnson & Johnson, Google and Samsung.
When all six factors were combined, Amazon topped the list with the strongest reputation among Americans. Apple, which had been #1 in 2012 was second while Disney ranked third.
Google was fourth and considered the best place to work due in part to the seven acre sports complex they have for their employees. Fifth was Johnson & Johnson which is the only company to receive an ‘excellent’ ranking for the last seven years. Sixth was Coca-Cola with the most recognizable brand in America. Satisfied customers and employees along with strong social responsibility marks helped Whole Foods to secure the #7 position.
While Sony products are less desirable than in the past, the company ranked eighth due to strong customer service. Proctor & Gamble was ninth while Costco rounded out the top ten as 75% of their customers had a good or excellent view of this company with 93% of employees approving of their CEO’s stewardship of the company.
For the fifth year in a row, AIG topped the list of companies with the worst reputations.
The distrust in AIG is due to its role in the financial crisis where they took a massive bailout from the government in order to survive. The recently floated idea by AIG of suing the U.S. Government for charging too high an interest rate didn’t help either.
Second was Goldman Sachs which 76% of all survey respondents did not trust due to their role in the U.S. financial crisis, Greece and numerous other ethical questions.
Halliburton ranked third with most of their bad news related to the company’s ethics during the Bush Administration although their leading role in the fracking of America for oil and gas keeps them as one of the least trusted companies in America.
Between a bankruptcy, poor employee satisfaction and poor customer service, American ranked as the fourth worst company for 2013. Bank of America continues to suffer from their role in the financial crisis as well as poor customer service levels. Citibank was hot on their heels in sixth due to poor customer service and heavy layoffs which hurt employee morale.
Seventh was British Petroleum which continues to suffer from the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Eighth was Chase Bank which had escaped the financial crisis with a relatively good reputation. They were hurt by news that they pushed their lower performing and more expensive mutual funds customers as well as a $5.8 billion loss related to their London trading operations which contradicted many statements by their CEO in recent years. Ninth was another bank, Wells Fargo, with their reputation tarnished by their role in the mortgage crisis as well as poor customer service. Tenth was cable television provider Comcast which rated lowly due to some of the worst customer service ratings in the survey.