Regional Grocer Wegmans Unseats Amazon To Claim Top Corporate Reputation Ranking

Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® Study Shows Samsung Pulls Ahead of Apple

Feb 04, 2015, 09:00 ET from Harris Poll

NEW YORK, Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Wegmans Food Markets, a Rochester, NY-based grocer with just 85 stores and one-tenth of Amazon's revenues, edged past the online retailer to reach the top spot for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies, according to the 16th annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® (RQ) study. Ranking third on the list, Samsung outperformed all other technology companies, surging past Apple and Google, at No. 9 and No. 10 respectively, and achieving a near-reversal in position from 2012 when Apple was No. 1, Google was No. 2 and Samsung ranked 13th in corporate reputation.

"Reputation is far from static and is a business asset that is earned every day as people evaluate companies through the lens of what matters most to them. Wegmans has spent years building a sterling reputation in the communities they serve, through its employees, one shopping experience at a time," says Carol M. Gstalder, Reputation & Public Relations Practice Leader for Harris Poll. "Samsung has steadily climbed up the ranks in recent years with consumers rating it among the 5 best on key reputational dimensions of products and services, emotional appeal, financial performance and vision and leadership. Apple's performance, while still excellent, has fallen 5 points since 2012."

Harris Poll expanded the list to 100 companies this year, up from 60, to offer deeper insight by industry. As a result, three of the top 10 companies are debuting on the list, including No. 1 Wegmans, No. 7 L.L. Bean and No. 8 Publix Supermarkets. "Expanding the study allows companies to see how they stack up within their industry as well as compared to best in class reputations across industries," says Gstalder.

The reputations of the 100 most visible companies range from excellent (scores of 80+) to poor (scores of 50 to 64). A total of 12 companies earned excellent scores, including the rest of the top 10 with Costco at No. 4, up from No. 6 in 2014, and No. 5 Johnson & Johnson and No. 6 Kraft, both moving back into the top tier after falling out of it in 2014 and 2013 respectively. Conversely, a total of 16 companies earn a "poor" reputation score, starting with Time Warner at No. 85 and down to Goldman Sachs at No. 100.

JC Penney showed the strongest improvement in the past year as its turnaround strategy gains traction. The Coca-Cola Company, Honda, Hyundai and General Motors experienced the largest declines. Unprecedented automotive recalls explain the reputation hits suffered by General Motors, Honda and Hyundai. Coca-Cola, whose reputation score is in the "very good" range, fell 6.8 points this year, largely due to public perceptions of its products and declining intent to purchase.

Opinion Elites Still Smiling About Coca-Cola
In another new feature, Harris Poll had each company rated by 100 Opinion Elites, a sub-segment of the main survey respondents who are more informed, engaged, and likely to act based on corporate conduct and other reputation factors. "Companies are particularly eager to engage these stakeholders because they tend to influence the general public's opinion," explains Gstalder.

Opinion Elites and the general public rate many of the same companies in the top 10 for reputation. Opinion Elites also place Wegmans at No. 1 and Amazon at No. 2, then move L.L. Bean to No. 3, Johnson & Johnson to No. 4, Samsung to No. 6, Apple to No. 7, and Publix Supermarkets to No. 10. Filling out the top 10, Opinion Elites rank The Walt Disney Company No. 5 (compared to No. 12 by the general public), Berkshire Hathaway No. 8 (compared to No. 11 by the general public) and Coca-Cola is No. 9.

Unlike the general public, the Opinion Elite RQ score for Coca-Cola is excellent, with strongest performance on the reputation dimension of vision and leadership.

"The American public strongly believes reputation matters and acts on that belief. This year's results show that more than half of the public actively seeks out information about companies they hear about or do business with, and 36% say they've decided against doing business with a company because of something they learned about its conduct," explains Gstalder. "Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing expectations consumers have when it comes to corporate reputation, specifically what they think, say and do, as well as how best to engage with them."

A complete ranking of the RQ's 100 most visible companies can be found in the 16th Annual RQ Summary Report.

Reputation Quotient Methodology
The annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study was conducted online, in English, among 27,278 U.S. respondents from October 20-December 18, 2014, with preliminary nominating waves of research conducted with 4,034 respondents across August 26-28, 2014 and September 24-26, 2014.  The Annual RQ study begins with a Nomination Phase which is used to identify the companies with the most "visible" reputations.  All respondents are asked, unaided, to name companies that stand out as having the best and worst reputations. Online nominations are summed to create a total number of nominations for each company.  The final list of the 100 most visible companies in the U.S. is measured in the RQ Ratings Phase.  In the ratings phase, respondents are randomly assigned to rate two of the companies with which they are "very" or "somewhat" familiar.  After the first company rating is completed, the respondent is given the option to rate the second company.  Companies are rated on their reputation on 20 different attributes that comprise the Reputation Quotient instrument. The attributes are grouped into six different reputation dimensions: Emotional Appeal, Financial Performance, Products & Services, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership and Workplace Environment.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll and sample partner surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in an online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

All third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.  Use of such trademarks does not constitute or imply any sponsorship or endorsement.

Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® study results disclosed in this press release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Poll.

About The Harris Poll®
Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples.  With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers' motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us for more information.


2015 RQ RANK

RQ Score

1

Wegmans Food Markets*

84.36

2

Amazon.com

83.72

3

Samsung

81.98

4

Costco

81.69

5

Johnson & Johnson

80.88

6

Kraft Foods

80.83

7

L.L. Bean*

80.78

8

Publix Supermarkets*

80.73

9

Apple

80.69

10

Google

80.44

11

Berkshire Hathaway*

80.28

12

The Walt Disney Company

80.04

13

Sony

79.93

14

CVS (CVS Health)*

79.83

15

Microsoft

79.74

16

Lowe's

79.48

17

Kellogg Company*

79.25

18

Chick-Fil-A

78.96

19

The Boeing Company*

78.93

20

Intel Corporation*

78.54

21

Whole Foods Market

78.47

22

USAA

78.22

23

LG Corporation*

78.20

24

Procter & Gamble Co.

78.08

25

Nike

77.88

26

Unilever*

77.80

27

Whirlpool Corporation*

77.54

28

General Mills*

76.88

29

Honda Motor Company

76.80

30

Nestle*

76.45

31

Starbucks Corporation

76.32

32

The Kroger Company*

76.29

33

Wendy's*

75.94

34

The Coca-Cola Company

75.89

35

Fidelity Investments*

75.69

36

PepsiCo

75.59

37

FedEx Corporation*

75.53

38

The Home Depot

75.38

39

Meijer's*

75.37

40

IBM

75.32

41

Hewlett-Packard Company

75.26

42

Kohl's

75.17

43

eBay*

75.14

44

Aldi*

74.78

45

General Electric

74.77

46

Southwest Airlines

74.76

47

Nordstrom

74.46

48

Ford Motor Company

74.32

49

Toyota Motor Corporation

74.01

50

Progressive Corporation*

73.79

51

State Farm Insurance*

73.61

52

Macy's

73.16

53

DuPont*

73.09

54

Walgreens*

72.80

55

American Express*

72.63

56

YUM! Brands*

72.60

57

Nissan Motor Corporation*

72.60

58

Hobby Lobby*

72.51

59

Best Buy

72.28

60

Dell

72.13

61

JCPenney

71.61

62

The Allstate Corporation

71.03

63

Target

70.99

64

Hyundai Motor Company

70.97

65

21st Century Fox*

70.14

66

Verizon Communications

69.74

67

Safeway*

69.70

68

Blue Cross Blue Shield*

69.50

69

Unites States Postal Service*

69.49

70

Royal Dutch Shell

68.92

71

McDonald's

67.77

72

Sprint Corporation

67.66

73

Altria Group*

67.65

74

Wells Fargo & Company

67.55

75

T-Mobile

67.54

76

AT&T

67.26

77

Facebook

67.17

78

Chevron*

67.09

79

Delta Air Lines*

66.52

80

Burger King*

66.23

81

Chrysler Corporation

65.76

82

ExxonMobil

65.43

83

DirecTV*

65.27

84

Walmart

65.05

85

Time Warner

64.93

86

United Airlines*

64.91

87

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

63.98

88

General Motors

63.89

89

Citigroup

62.19

90

BP

62.01

91

Bank of America

60.73

92

Charter Communications*

60.30

93

Comcast

60.04

94

Koch Industries*

59.89

95

Sears Holdings Corporation

59.79

96

Halliburton

59.63

97

Monsanto

59.18

98

Dish Network

58.07

99

AIG

55.23

100

Goldman Sachs

55.07

* New to Most Visible List this year (not in 60 Most Visible 2014)

Guide to RQ Scores:
80 & above: Excellent
75-79:  Very Good
70-74:  Good
65-69:  Fair
55-64:  Poor
50-54:  Very Poor
Below 50:  Critical

Press Contact:
Lois Padovani
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l.padovani@comcast.net

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SOURCE Harris Poll



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