The technology industry has improved to an overall strong reputation this year, though it continues to trail other industries such as the industrial, retail, and consumer sectors, reports the Reputation Institute [download page] in releasing its 2016 rankings within the tech industry. The industry leader also tops the list of top 100 companies overall, and is a familiar name.
Yes, it’s Amazon, with a RepTrakÂ® Pulse score of 85.4, the top score of all US firms. The result aligns with recent research from YouGov, which found Amazon to be the brand with the most positive perception in the US last year.
The Reputation Institute notes that Amazon’s product and innovation ratings increased, though the leadership, workplace, and CSR dimensions (among others) of its score decreased.
Behind Amazon in the tech top 10 – and in third place overall – is Samsung, which enjoyed a sharp rise in reputation from a score of 77.7 last year to 84.4 this year. The company saw increases in each of the 7 dimensions from which the RepTrakÂ® Pulse is determined, with a particularly large increase on the workplace dimension. Samsung also topped all US companies by a relatively wide margin in the Reputation Institute’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) index.
It was a markedly different result for Apple, which did not even make the list of top 100 US firms, with a score of 73.5, more than 10 points below that of Samsung. While Apple scored well in the performance, products/services, and innovation dimensions, it did not fare well in governance and particularly poorly in citizenship, which measures the extent to which it supports good causes and protects the environment. The analysts also note that a high proportion of survey respondents aren’t sure about its workplace environment (41%), citizenship (33%) and governance (24%), indicating a lack of corporate narrative on these topics. Moreover, Apple trailed Samsung in various aspects of its brand communication, ranging from the frequency of its communications, the extent of the information it provides, and the degree to which it welcomes open discussion.
Rounding out the top 5 tech companies are Intel (81.3), Vmware (80.7) and Toshiba (78.8). Intel – like Samsung – placed highly on the CSR index, coming in at #5. It is the 8th most reputable firm in the US overall, according to the rankings.
In other highlights from the report:
- Microsoft placed 9th among the 50 most reputable US technology companies, buoyed by strong leadership scores;
- New media players such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat performed better on product and innovation attributes than on citizenship and governance attributes, though Twitter fared poorly on the product dimension;
- Facebook’s RepTrakÂ® Pulse score of 60.2 barely made it into the “average” rating (range of 60-69), and trailed Instagram (69.9) and Snapchat (67.5); and
- Alphabet benefited from Google’s strong brand perception to achieve a score of 77, good for 8th among all tech firms.
About the Data: The results are based on more than 80,000 company ratings collected during Q1 2016. Respondents must be “somewhat” or “very” familiar with the companies, and three-quarters of the pulse rating must be completed in order for inclusion.
The RepTrakÂ® Pulse score is based on each company’s ability to deliver on stakeholder expectations across 7 key rational dimensions of reputation: products & services; innovation; workplace; governance; citizenship; leadership; and performance.