For the second year in a row, Amazon is No. 1 – with a score of 84.08 – on a chart designed by Reputation Institute, a consulting firm in Boston, that ranks companies by reputation. The Seattle eCommerce giant even improved its scored while facing fierce competition this year, with nine of the Top 10 companies achieving scores in the 80s. Last year, only Amazon had achieved such an excellent score.
The most notable downfall comes from Apple, which came out at 187th this year after being 57th in 2014 and did not even make it in the Top 20 of its own industry.
“There’s no question Apple is at the top for innovation,” said Brad Hecht, Chief Research Officer at Reputation Institute to The Street. “Their challenge is Apple has a much more inward culture that focuses more on what Apple does than what they can do to benefit society and their customers. They haven’t been as effective in explaining how they’re more open and transparent.”
The Reputation Institute ranked the Top 100 reputable companies based on 23,750 consumer respondents and 57,746 ratings between March 19 and May 1 to measure how U.S. consumers feel about more than 600 big companies.
“The top U.S. companies proactively manage their reputations by investing as much in corporate dimensions like governance, citizenship and workplace as they do in their products and services,” said Hecht. “Companies with strong reputations are 15 times more likely to attract better talent and they reap significant financial benefits, too. The most reputable companies see a stock performance that is 2 times better than the overall market and they benefit from a 6.5 percent increase in recommendations every time they improve their RepTrak score by 5 points.”
In fact, Reputable Institute sees a correlation between being in the Top 10 in reputation in the U.S. and stock price. “We’ve tracked it all the way back to 2006. Your performance relative to the S&P average is better.” Hecht said.
The rankings are based on each company’s “Pulse” – the emotional connection consumers have to a brand. A consumer’s emotion has seven dimensions: innovation, leadership, governance, citizenship, workplace, performance, and products/services.
The other companies who made it to the Top 10 are : Kellogg’s, LEGO, Fruit of the Loom, Campbell Soup Company, Levi Strauss & Co., Snap-on, Hershey Company, Panera Bread and Briggs & Stratton Corp.
Another survey published by Wegmans in February 2015 also ranked Amazon as a Top 10 U.S. company with the best reputation, at No 2. In that study, Apple in this chart came out at No. 9 while Google ranked at No. 10.