For the past 13 years polling firm Harris has been asking US consumers about companies they admire and those they don’t. The firm packages that information up into a corporate reputation score for the “60 most visible companies in the country.” A cousin of the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, the scoring is based on consumer perception and asks about consumer views of several categories, such as emotional appeal, financial performance, products & services and corporate responsibility.
This year’s poll of 17,000 US consumers found that despite the recent Foxconn labor scandal Apple rated number 1. That was followed by Google, which slipped from the top spot in this year’s annual poll:
This year’s most reputable brand, Apple, benefits greatly from its hybrid status as a technology/consumer product/retail company, and earns the highest RQ score to secure the top spot in the ranking. It displaces Google — last year’s most reputable corporation, which now ranks second with an excellent score of 82.82. The Coca-Cola Company, ranked 15th in 2011, has surged into third place, despite any meaningful change in its reputation rating. Amazon.com moves up from eighth to fourth place and perennial reputation elite, Kraft Foods, ranked fifth.
Most improved this year were Toyota, General Motors, BP and Apple. Some companies saw significant declines from previous years, however, including several financial intuitions.
Scores above 80 are considered “excellent,” while those below 50 are dismal and call into question the enterprise’s “continued viability” according to Harris. On that low-scoring list were Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and AIG.
In general Harris said that excellent scores were quite rare this year, perhaps reflecting the public’s anti-corporate mood. But Apple’s score — again despite the labor controversy — was 85.62 (the highest score ever received during the 13 years of polling).
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