NEW YORK, June 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Google (GOOG) and Apple (AAPL) share the top spot in a study of the world's most reputable companies conducted by Reputation Institute. Disney (DIS), BMW (BAMXY.PK), and LEGO round out the top five in the 2011 Global RepTrak™ 100, a consumer study developed by Reputation Institute to assess the reputations of 100 of the world's most prominent companies. The study provides an assessment of the global reputation landscape—the companies that are most liked, trusted, and respected by over 48,000 consumers across 15 countries. Data collection was powered by Survey Sampling International. Five other companies round out the Top Ten: Sony (SNE), Daimler (DAI.DE), Canon (CAJ), Intel (INTC), and Volkswagen (VLKAY.PK).
A major finding of this study is that most companies have stronger reputations in their home countries than abroad. But even these powerhouse companies are not able to generate respect in all 15 countries. Apple, Google, LEGO, and Sony are the only companies to make the top ten in nine of the 15 countries. Even more telling is the fact that, of the 100 companies, only 12 made the top ten in five or more of the 15 countries.
Reputation Institute examined how these companies were perceived in four regions. Each region had a different winner: Kellogg's (K) in North America, Google in Latin America, LEGO in Europe, and Disney in Asia Pacific. "To build a strong reputation on a global level requires a broad platform that covers all seven dimensions of reputation, including Products & Services, Innovation, Workplace, Governance, Citizenship, Leadership, and Performance," says Reputation Institute Executive Partner Nicolas Georges Trad. "Companies need to integrate reputation management into the way they do business."
A second key finding of the study is that companies generate tangible benefits from building strong emotional bonds with consumers. Across the 15 largest countries in the world, companies with strong reputations receive, on average, three times the support of their less reputable competition. Reputation can be used to drive this support—when a company improves its RepTrak™ Pulse score by five points, public recommendations increase by 7%.
Because support is greater for better-regarded companies, their financial performance is also higher. Among the RepTrak™ 100, better-rated companies enjoy a 9% return on assets, compared to lesser-rated companies who earn a 6% ROA. Despite facing similar risk profiles, investors appear to reward more reputable companies by bidding up their shares. Companies with higher RepTrak™ Pulse scores have both higher price earnings ratios and earnings per share than lesser-regarded companies.
"The results of the Global RepTrak™ 100 Study confirm that, when evaluating companies, consumers and investors are aligned. The greater the reputation of a company, the more support it earns from consumers, the better its operating performance, and the more money investors are willing to pay for its shares. This is a key feature of the emerging Reputation Economy we now live in," says Reputation Institute Chairman, Dr. Charles Fombrun.
Finally, a third key finding of this study is that the drivers of reputation vary by industry and by region. While the product dimension is the top driver of reputation globally, it has a lower impact in BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China). Perceptions of a company's performance and governance account for over 30% of a company's reputation in BRIC countries, and are key differentiators for companies who want to win business there. As Executive Partner Kasper Ulf Nielsen commented: "Many established brands are finding that merely pumping advertising and products into a market does not yield the return of investment they expect and desire. Having a local presence and communicating about it are key ways to win trust and support from consumers, politicians, and opinion leaders. That means focusing on reputation."
About the Global RepTrak™ 100 Study
In January 2011, Reputation Institute measured the reputations of more than 1,000 of the world's largest companies in their home countries. The highest rated companies across 41 countries were then selected as candidates for a second study that rated these companies provided they had above average home country reputations and a global footprint. The outcome of the first study was a roster of 100 companies—The Global RepTrak™ 100—that are well regarded at home and are exporting their reputations around the world.
In April 2011, online consumers were invited to rate the Global RepTrak™ 100 in each of 15 countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States. Each respondent rated a maximum of five randomly assigned companies from the list with which they were somewhat or very familiar with, using Reputation Institute's standardized RepTrak™ Pulse methodology. In interpreting results, all RepTrak™ Pulse scores that differ by more than +/-0.5 are significantly different at a 95% confidence level.
For more detail about the 2011 Global RepTrak™ study, interested readers can download a top line report, watch video insights, and more by going to www.ReputationInstitute.com.
About Reputation Institute
Reputation Institute is the world's leading reputation consulting firm. As a pioneer in the field of brand and reputation management, Reputation Institute helps companies build better relations with stakeholders. With a presence in 30 countries, Reputation Institute is dedicated to advancing knowledge about reputation and shares best practices and current research through client engagement, memberships, seminars, conferences, and publications such as Corporate Reputation Review and Reputation Intelligence. Visit ReputationInstitute.com to learn how you can unlock the power of your reputation.
About Survey Sampling International
Survey Sampling International (SSI) is the premier global provider of sampling solutions for survey research. With offices in 15 countries, SSI provides data collection services to more than 1,800 clients, including 48 of the top 50 research organizations.
The 2011 Global RepTrak™ 100: The World's Most Reputable Companies
LVMH Group (France)
The Walt Disney Company (USA)
Singapore Airlines (Singapore)
HJ Heinz (USA)
Unilever (The Netherlands)
Nissan Motor (Japan)
Nike, Inc. (USA)
Suzuki Motor (Japan)
Johnson & Johnson (USA)
General Electric (USA)
LG Corporation (South Korea)
Heineken (The Netherlands)
Marks & Spencer Group (UK)
ACER INC (Taiwan)
Kraft Foods Inc. (USA)
Virgin Group (UK)
Philips Electronics (The Netherlands)
Qantas Airways (Australia)
The Coca-Cola Company (USA)
Honda Motor (Japan)
Starbucks Coffee Company (USA)
General Mills (USA)
Hyundai (South Korea)
Sony Ericsson (UK)
Lenovo Group (China)
Air France-KLM (France)
Swatch Group (Switzerland)
Sara Lee (USA)
Marriott International (USA)
De Beers (South Africa)
Cisco Systems (USA)
Eastman Kodak (USA)
Anheuser-Busch InBev (Belgium)
Deutsche Lufthansa (Germany)
Samsung Electronics (South Korea)
Procter & Gamble (USA)
Lockheed Martin (USA)
Tsingtao Beer (China)
Haier Group (China)
Hilton Worldwide (USA)
BHP Billiton (UK and Australia)
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Adam Shoer, Reputation Institute
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SOURCE Reputation Institute