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Is the Reputation of Corporate America “Poor?” Yes!


Posted by on June 25, 2008

reputation of corporate americaEvery year Harris Interactive conducts a survey of some of the most visible U.S. companies and publishes the survey for the world to see. One of the most interesting findings (and the title of the post) is that the overall reputation of corporate America is going down faster than the stock market (ok fine, maybe just as fast). This is not to say that American’s don’t have faith in corporate America as the Harris survey also shows that consumers are still willing to invest (buy, recommend, etc.) in companies with a strong reputation. I suppose this shouldn’t be too much of a shock right? After all, you probably don’t want to invest in a company with a weak reputation. Here is a brief overview of some of the results and interesting findings from the Harris survey.

The survey is conducted either by phone or online.  Around 21,000 consumers participated in the Harris survey.

In addition to ranking the top 10 most visible companies Harris also ranks companies in 6 other categories, including: emotional appeal (tear), products and services, social responsibility, vision and leadership, workplace environment, and financial performance.

Let’s first start off with the top 10

Top 10 Most Visible Companies

  1. Google
  2. Johnson & Johnson
  3. Intel Corporation
  4. General Mills
  5. Kraft Foods
  6. Berkshire-Hathaway Inc.
  7. 3M Company
  8. The Coca-Cola Company
  9. Honda Motor Co.
  10. Microsoft

Social Responsibility

  1. Whole Foods
  2. Google
  3. General Mills
  4. Microsoft
  5. Johnson & Johnson

Emotional Appeal

  1. Johnson & Johnson
  2. Kraft
  3. General Mills
  4. Google
  5. 3M Company

Financial Performance

  1. Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Google
  3. Microsoft
  4. Intel
  5. Procter & Gamble

Products & Services

  1. Johnson & Johnson
  2. 3M Company
  3. Intel
  4. Google
  5. P&G

Vision & Leadership

  1. Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Google
  3. Microsoft
  4. Intel
  5. Apple

Workplace Environment

  1. Google
  2. Johnson & Johnson
  3. General Mills
  4. Intel
  5. Kraft

These are some of the key statistics from the report.  If you want to read the full report with more detailed information and statistics you may find it here.  I think it is important to remember to take much of the information found in the survey with a grain of salt.  Most of (if not all) of the companies mentioned in the report are the larges corporations in the world.  However if I were to think of social responsbilit, one of the first companies that comes to mind is kiva.org, not Google or Whole Foods.

That being said there is some interesting industry and overall consumer information that is worth looking at.

What do you think of some of the companies that made the list, if you could replace any of the companies, who would you replace them with and why?

Thanks for reading.

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