Can You Guess Which Company Has the Best Public Reputation?
It’s time for the results of the 12th Annual Harris Interactive U.S. Reputation Quotient (RQ) Survey and the winner is (insert drum roll) . . . . Google!
Google got an 84.05, just squeaking past Johnson & Johnson and 3M.
Technology in general did very well on the reputation charts with an overall 75% positive rating. Apple, Intel, Amazon and Sony all made the top half of the chart. Facebook landed 31st on the list with an RQ score of 74.12.
Who got the bottom spots?
51.) Delta Airlines; 52) JP Morgan Chase; 53) Exxon Mobil; 54) General Motors; 55) Bank of America; 56) Chrysler; 57) Citigroup; 58) Goldman Sachs; 59) BP; 60) AIG.
“These four lowest rated companies were also rated lowest on the reputation characteristics of “being trusted to do the right thing” and “having high ethical standards”.
No big surprises on that list, but ouch. Can’t be trusted? Poor ethics? But is it that clear cut? I wonder if people react more strongly to banks and car makers. How much you trust someone with your life and money versus how much you trust an online provider to protect your data. Then again, Johnson & Johnson does make products for your baby and they made the top of the list, so they must really be doing something right.
Speaking of which. . . in addition to overall reputation, the index also scores the best known brands in six individual areas. One is called “Emotional Appeal” and look who is at the top.
1) Johnson & Johnson; 2) amazon.com; 3) UPS; 4) General Mills; 5) Kraft Foods
I understand three of those, but Amazon and UPS? Not companies that evoke a strong sense of love or hate from me, but to each his own.
Another interesting category is”Social Responsibility.” We’ve seen more and more companies going very public with their charitable efforts, but check out Whole Foods taking it away from the big boys.
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As a marketer, you can’t underestimate the impact of reputation. Last week, I wrote a sentence down on my idea pad. It came from a presentation I was watching, though sadly, I didn’t make a note of which one. I do know that the presenter was talking about engaging with the public on Facebook and how to counter bad comments. What I wrote down was,
“It’s what people believe is true, not what is true.”
You might have the most reliable, ethical, charitable company on the planet, but if people believe that you cheat and then lie about it — that’s what counts. That’s what reputation is all about. Remember high school?
You must protect your reputation. It doesn’t matter if you’re a one-man operation or a corporate giant. Where would your customers slot your company on the reputation scale? Don’t guess. Find out.