Consumer regard for the world’s 100 most reputable corporations is getting stronger due in large part to a sharpened focus on corporate purpose and the social impact of their business, according to the 10th annual Global RepTrak, the world’s most comprehensive reputation study released today by Reputation Institute.
While companies with the strongest reputation must not waver from delivering products and services of the highest quality and value, key drivers of reputation, the new study reports an across-the-board reputation lift largely influenced by strengthening perceptions of a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices.
“We see, for the first time in 2020, how iconic legacy brands are reinvigorating themselves to drive deeper relevancy. They are doing this consistently, at scale and for multiple stakeholders,” said Kylie Wright-Ford, CEO of Reputation Institute, which measures the reputation of more than 7,600 companies each year. “What distinguishes these best-in-class companies is their ability to find new ways to connect with consumers and shareholders alike by delivering excellent products, industry-leading innovation, and a truly meaningful purpose. This is the way leading companies create enduring reputation value.”
What is changing is how companies are delivering against consumer expectations. For example, perceptions of the products and services provided by the top 100 companies have stalled year-over-year, although these companies are still receiving a strong score in this category from consumers. On the other hand, perceptions of citizenship, workplace and corporate governance — which even among the top 100 companies tend to be average — have improved the most over 2019.
While this change in global perceptions reflects the elevated importance of CSR and purpose in the way companies execute and talk about business, there is still a long way for companies to go as 56% of respondents claimed to be “on the fence” regarding their support towards the top 100.
The 10 companies with the best reputation in the world according to the 2020 Global RepTrak:
The LEGO Group
The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS)
Ferrari (NYSE: RACE)
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT)
Levi Strauss & Co. (NYSE: LEVI)
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX)
Adidas Group (OTCQX: ADDYY)
The Bosch Group (NYSE: AVX)
Intel (NYSE: INTC)
2020 Global RepTrak Highlights
Among the Top 100, 33 companies have improved their reputation rating vs. 2019, while only 11 experienced declines.
The LEGO Group and The Walt Disney Company are the only two companies that have been in the top 10 every year since the first Global RepTrak was conducted in 2011. Both companies achieved strong perceptions for their products and services and for leading with innovation. They also rank among the top 15 in the Purpose Score, a new metric developed by Reputation Institute, which captures a company’s higher purpose and positive relationship with shareholders.
Ferrari and Levi Strauss & Co. are new to the top 10 because of the strong emotional connection they have generated with consumers through the establishment of iconic and genuine brands.
The pharmaceutical, transport, financial services and energy industries have the greatest reputation challenges while the hospitality, consumer goods and technology industries have the strongest global reputations. While they still fall in the bottom of the reputation ranking, both financial services and the energy industry have increased year- over-year, due to recovering perceptions of corporate governance across the globe.