A company’s reputation can mean the difference between reaping the benefits of brand trust or seeing sales decline when that trust is broken. The most recent Reputation Quotient Study [pdf] from Axios and Harris Poll looks at which of the most visible US companies have the best reputation – and others that did not fare quite as well.
Before having a look at which companies made it into the top-10 this year, here’s how these companies made the list. Determining the most reputable US corporations involved a 2-part process. The first part was determining the companies that were top-of-mind for the American public, with respondents choosing the two companies with the best reputation and two with the worst. The second part determined a Reputation Quotient based on seven areas: trust; vision; growth; products and services; culture; ethics; and, citizenship.
At the top of this year’s list is Patagonia with a Reputation Quotient of 82.7. The company was ranked at the top of the list in culture, ethics and citizenship. It was also the top performer among Millennials.
Honda ranked #2 (81.6) on the list. It is joined on the list by another automotive company, Tesla Motors (8.2) which ranked #8.
No doubt in response to the development of their COVID-19 vaccines, pharmaceutical companies Moderna (81.3) and Pfizer (80.2) made it into the top-10 at #3 and #7, respectively.
At the top of the list for Baby Boomers, Chick-fil-A (81.1) grabbed up the #4 spot on the overall list, followed by Elon Musk’s SpaceX (81.1; #5) and Chewy (80.9; #6) — the company that also is the second-most used subscription service in the US. Rounding out the top-10 are Costco (80.1; #9) and Amazon (80; #10).
Biggest Improvements and the Newcomers
Benefiting from a 7.2-point lift in Reputation Quotient score over 2020, Pfizer was the company that had the most improvement in score this year. Dollar General saw an improvement in score of 5.8 points, from 65.6 in 2020 to 71.4 in 2021.
On the other end of the spectrum, Fox Corporation suffered the biggest decrease in score (3.9 points) which took the company from a score of 63.1 in 2020 to 59.2 this year. It ranked towards the bottom of the list in trust, citizenship and products and services. Despite its growing popularity in the US, TikTok also saw its score decrease by 3.5 points over last year, to a score of 63.0.
Three of the newcomers to the most visible companies list this year — Moderna, SpaceX and Chewy — also ended up on the top-10 list of most reputable. Other corporations that made it onto the list of most visible for the first time include REI (#11), In-n-Out (#17), Reddit (#78) and TikTok (#94).
- Of the industries examined, Consumer Products (74%) saw the biggest lift in points (8 percentage points) for positive reputation over 2020, but still ranks below Retail Grocery (81%) in the percentage of positive reputation;
- Technology (69%) saw a 2 percentage point drop in positive reputation over last year, with Apple being the only tech company to see an improvement in reputation (#16, up from #27 in 2020).
- Moderna ranked #1 in Velocity List (% on its way up minus % on its way down), followed by SpaceX, Tesla Motors and Pfizer.
To read more, the report can be found here.
About the Data: Results are based on an April survey of 42,935 Americans who rated the “most visible companies” on reputation. The “most visible companies” were first determined via surveys to determine the companies that were most top-of-mind for reputation (both good and bad).