Company reputation more important than product

Consumers are driven more by what a company stands for than what it sells, says the publisher of a new study into global corporate reputation.

BMW, Sony and Walt Disney top the Reputation Institute's list of the world's most reputable companies, released today.

Its Global RepTrak 100 study of more than 100,000 consumers identifies how stakeholders perceive companies, and how those perceptions affect purchasing behaviour.

The New York-based institute's executive partner Kasper Ulf Nielsen says the study shows a company's products are not the most important part of its success.

"People's willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60% by their perceptions of the company and only 40% by their perceptions of their products."

He says the study shows that in order for companies to win support, it needs to tell its story in a way that connects it with stakeholders on a global level.

"Nowhere was a strong reputation platform more important this year than with IT giant Apple, which maintained its high ranking despite the loss of its iconic leader, Steve Jobs."

However, BMW New Zealand spokesman Edward Finn denies products are more important than reputation, saying the two are intertwined. 

He says while the company undoubtedly has a positive reputation globally, the quality of the product is a huge part of that. 

"It is an aspirational product, and that attracts people to the brand." 

Apple was ranked 5th in this year's study, down from second spot last year.

Google, Microsoft, Volkswagen, Canon and LEGO Group round out the top ten.

The companies with the worst global reputations, according to the study, are aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin, followed by Vodafone and Brazilian oil exploration company Petrobras.  

In New Zealand, Air New Zealand was last month confirmed as the most reputable company, followed by HJ Heinz and New Zealand Post. 

THE TOP 100

Global RepTrak 100 Results

  • RepTrak™ 100 2012 RepTrak™ 100 2011
  • Company name Rank RepTrak™ Pulse Rank RepTrak™ Pulse
  • BMW 1 80,08 4 79,42
  • Sony 2 79,31 6 79,05
  • The Walt Disney Company 3 78,92 3 79,51
  • Daimler (Mercedes-Benz) 4 78,54 7 79,03
  • Apple 5 78,49 2 79,77
  • Google 6 78,05 1 79,99
  • Microsoft 7 77,98 11 77,29
  • Volkswagen 8 77,04 10 77,33
  • Canon 9 76,98 8 78,07
  • LEGO Group 10 76,35 5 79,26
  • Adidas Group 11 76,00 n/a n/a
  • Nestlé 12 75,88 16 76,01
  • Colgate-Palmolive 13 75,75 26 74,62
  • Panasonic 14 75,71 13 76,84
  • Nike 15 75,43 12 76,92
  • Intel 16 75,42 9 77,56
  • Michelín 17 75,32 18 75,75
  • Johnson & Johnson 18 75,17 14 76,75
  • IBM 19 75,08 27 74,41
  • Ferrero 20 74,90 22 75,01
  • Samsung Electronics 21 74,81 43 72,76
  • Honda Motor 22 74,80 29 73,99
  • L'Oréal 23 74,35 19 75,72
  • Nokia 24 74,33 15 76,17
  • Philips Electronics 25 74,33 23 74,84
  • Kellogg 26 74,32 20 75,20
  • Goodyear 27 74,28 21 75,09
  • Amazon.com 28 74,07 33 73,63
  • Danone 29 74,05 30 73,92
  • 3M 30 74,02 24 74,68
  • Hewlett-Packard 31 73,67 17 75,90
  • Nintendo 32 73,56 25 74,66
  • LVMH Group (Louis Vuitton - Moët Hennessy) 33 73,46 51 72,15
  • Bridgestone 34 73,35 36 73,21
  • IKEA 35 73,22 32 73,83
  • Giorgio Armani Group 36 73,22 n/a n/a
  • Toyota 37 72,77 60 71,26
  • The Coca-Cola Company 38 72,66 28 74,27
  • FedEx 39 72,56 46 72,68
  • Marriott International 40 72,53 39 73,08
  • Pirelli 41 72,30 31 73,88
  • Barilla 42 72,12 52 72,04
  • Fujifilm 43 72,07 47 72,68
  • Deutsche Lufthansa 44 72,06 42 72,84
  • Siemens 45 71,76 48 72,34
  • Bayer 46 71,31 n/a n/a
  • UPS 47 71,29 49 72,20
  • Boeing 48 71,09 56 71,57
  • Procter & Gamble 49 71,08 44 72,75
  • Dell 50 71,02 34 73,60
  • Singapore Airlines 51 70,89 55 71,77
  • Toshiba 52 70,87 45 72,70
  • Xerox 53 70,77 38 73,09
  • Unilever 54 70,63 59 71,37
  • Cisco Systems 55 70,62 40 72,99
  • LG Corporation 56 70,62 65 70,97
  • HJ Heinz 57 70,61 57 71,53
  • Kraft Foods 58 70,57 71 70,15
  • Swatch Group 59 70,50 37 73,14
  • Hilton Worldwide 60 70,47 50 72,16
  • Heineken 61 70,41 67 70,65
  • Nissan Motor 62 70,18 61 71,11
  • Qantas Airways 63 70,05 73 69,66
  • Electrolux 64 69,91 58 71,50
  • Abbott Laboratories 65 69,89 n/a n/a
  • General Electric 66 69,86 64 70,99
  • DuPont 67 69,77 53 72,00
  • Sharp 68 69,75 54 71,77
  • Eastman Kodak 69 69,64 41 72,99
  • Airbus 70 69,60 74 69,51
  • Oracle 71 69,54 68 70,52
  • Roche 72 69,53 62 71,11
  • ACER 73 69,38 70 70,31
  • Sara Lee 74 69,35 88 67,19
  • Yahoo! 75 68,94 n/a n/a
  • H&M 76 68,77 n/a n/a
  • SAS (Scandinavian Airlines) 77 68,74 77 69,30
  • Marks & Spencer Group 78 68,73 69 70,39
  • Hitachi 79 68,64 66 70,66
  • eBay 80 68,50 n/a n/a
  • Avon Products 81 68,40 81 68,33
  • Zara 82 68,26 82 68,26
  • Starbucks Coffee Company 83 68,16 79 68,65
  • PepsiCo 84 68,11 76 69,36
  • Fujitsu 85 67,93 78 69,29
  • GlaxoSmithKline 86 67,79 75 69,45
  • Pfizer 87 67,44 n/a n/a
  • Suzuki Motor 88 67,34 63 71,04
  • Carlsberg Group 89 67,21 84 68,02
  • Eli Lilly 90 67,21 n/a n/a
  • General Mills 91 67,19 80 68,36
  • Air France-KLM 92 67,13 86 67,91
  • Carrefour 93 66,54 95 64,01
  • Virgin Group 94 66,41 72 69,80
  • Lenovo Group 95 66,27 85 67,94
  • Hyundai 96 65,69 83 68,19
  • Diageo 97 65,05 90 65,24
  • Petrobras 98 64,21 93 64,92
  • Vodafone 99 64,02 92 64,96
  • Lockheed Martin 100 63,93 97 63,51  

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