The Companies With the Best and Worst Corporate Reputations

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UPDATED July 22, 2022
Written By Merlene Leano

A great reputation is one of a business's most powerful marketing assets.

Why?

There is power in what customers say about your business online. It bears a significant impact on your success. You can bet that prospective and existing customers will Google you to ensure they are dealing with a reputable and respectable business. In fact, according to studies, around 90% of customers read online reviews to check out about a business before visiting.

In an age when most product and service research is conducted online, the online representation of your brand should be closely monitored.

It is more critical than ever for you as a business owner to monitor your reputation. Customers can quickly form an opinion about their level of trust in your brand, products, or services by simply viewing your business's online profile. Additionally, your reputation can influence whether a prospective or repeat customer chooses you over a competitor.

Consumer purchasing behavior has shifted. The majority of people research a product, business, or service before making a purchase. Several people conduct an initial search for online reviews because they benefit from social proof in reviews and star ratings. Customer reviews help reduce their efforts in researching a brand’s credibility and make decisions more quickly and confidently. For startups and budding entrepreneurs, there needs to be a solid reference as to what makes a company with a commendable reputation. Conversely, they also need to know specific mistakes to avoid in creating and maintaining a clean reputation.

This article will discuss the  companies with the best and worst reputations along with the triggering factors that contribute to reputation success.

Corporate Reputation — What Goes Into It?

Corporate reputation is one of the most critical factors when it comes to the success of an organization. Without a doubt, if a business wishes to be successful in the first place, it will require a strong reputation.

Having a good reputation indicates that the business is performing well and capable of meeting its customers' needs.

Numerous factors contribute to the success of your company's reputation. One way involves maintaining a consistent image which is crucial to fostering positive relationships and demonstrating your concern for your customers. No wonder companies with the best reputation stay one step ahead of the game to their competitors because they know firsthand that business reputation is a critical component of its growth.

What are the key components of establishing a corporate reputation?

Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility contributes significantly to community improvement and helps build your online business brand.

Businesses that do not prioritize social responsibility risk losing opportunities to strengthen customer relationships. Customers now have higher expectations and want to deal with companies that share their values.

Social responsibility requires businesses to act in a way that benefits society and maximizes shareholder value. Socially responsible companies should pursue policies that advance societies and the environment's well-being while mitigating adverse effects.

Leadership

Your company's leadership accounts for a significant chunk of your corporate reputation. How senior executives, the CEO, and management behave affects customer trust and perceptions of your brand.

Leaders exemplify and promote the organization's mission, shape its culture, and uphold its values. A business with strong leadership will weather a crisis with its reputation intact. Leaders or employees with a supervisory or managerial position who only seek selfish gains and allow corrupt practices to flourish in the company will only be faced with irreparable damages. These damages eventually influence your credibility, risking customer trust and employee loyalty.

Financial Performance

A company's perceived financial success affects other reputational drivers such as Products and Services, Workplace environment, and Leadership. Additionally, it has a significant impact on how stakeholders and customers perceive your business. The greater the company's financial performance, the higher the level of reliability associated with the industry across the remaining drivers.

So, monitoring your financial performance is critical for determining your brand's potential.

Customer Sentiment

Customer sentiment is critical because it can provide information about improving your organization's customer service, experience, and reputation.

Your business must have a firm grasp on what customers, employees, and the general public think about your business, products, and practices for it to succeed in an ever-changing market. Customer perception holds a strong contingent over how effectively you preserve your business's image.

Products & Services

All marketing activities revolve around products and services. Without them, marketing is unimaginable. That is why better products and services are vital to market success and well, your company’s reputation.

Why?

Products and services are critical to retain a sale and prevent the customer from walking away. It fosters trust, adds value to the customer experience, and ensures customer satisfaction. In general, familiarity with your products and services is crucial for a successful business.

It is only natural that your image is directly affected when the latest product launch is a success or a failure.

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5 Best Reputation Companies

A company's reputation affects its bottom line. According to a study, a company's distinction is influenced by at least two dozen factors, starting from the quality of its products, to the level of innovation used, to the effectiveness of customer service and environmental stewardship.

There are businesses that still maintain their reputation at best despite having issues. Some of the companies with good reputations are the following:

Rolex

Rolex has long been regarded as the world's most reputable brand. The watchmaker's partnerships with numerous high-profile figures in sports, science, and the arts exemplify the brand's image of timeless excellence and positive societal contributions, as evidenced by the watchmaker's stellar product and corporate responsibility scores. Rolex's unmatched ability to connect its products to the enterprise and the emotional response it generates as an aspirational brand has resulted in a formidable—and world-leading—prestige.

Netflix

Netflix is well-known for pioneering online streaming and building a name for being the seventh-largest Internet company by revenue. In streaming battles with telecommunications behemoths like Comcast, Netflix emerges as the scrappy underdog.

Netflix has long been a proponent of Net Neutrality, which, combined with the company's ability to stream entertainment at a lower cost than cable, has earned the company a large number of consumers' favor.

Microsoft

Microsoft has maintained its position as one of the world's most admired and best reputation companies. Its computer software has succeeded with its Surface laptop, Xbox console, and online gaming network.

In recent years, Microsoft's reputation has largely remained unharmed by negative news coverage and other issues affecting the technology industry.

Its emphasis on transparency also helped Microsoft maintain a positive reputation during product issues and updates, which is critical for establishing customer trust.

Microsoft has maintained its position in the top-ten most commendable companies for nearly a decade. The company is also well-known for its educational initiatives and global philanthropic efforts.

Adidas Group

For the third consecutive year, Adidas group remains in the top ten list of the most reputable companies in the world. The company's consistent boost in trustworthiness has been fueled by getting credit for its corporate responsibility performance, outpacing all the other leading companies. In 2019, The Adidas Group once again aced the Dow Jones Sustainability Index categories, thereby reflecting its ongoing public commitment to sustainability.

Samsung

Samsung has grown to become one of the most popular electronic and innovative appliance manufacturers globally. The company is well-known for its televisions and smartphones and its innovative design and product development. Along with selling high-quality merchandise, the company offers military personnel, students, and educators discounts.

Samsung has overcome setbacks and maintained a solid reputation, despite facing backlash a few years ago for the simultaneous combustion issues exhibited by their Galaxy Note 7.

5 Companies That Have a Bad Reputation

Reputation can either help or hinder your business's success.

Several companies and brands maintain — or even strengthen — the bond they share with their customers by providing dependable products and services and cultivating a clean image.

Maintaining public confidence is not a given. A single blunder — a price increase or tone-deaf tweet — can send a corporation into a tailspin.

Consider the following businesses, dubbed the worst companies in the world:

Facebook

Facebook has been embroiled in controversy over the last few years, with highly publicized PR crises doing little to help its tattered reputation.

Issues such as Facebook's influence on the 2016 presidential election, user privacy concerns, and inability to police content have drawn criticism from lawmakers, celebrities, and advocates on both sides of the political aisle.

This has resulted in severe image problems exacerbated by popular social media forums. Without a doubt, Facebook is a long way from establishing a positive brand image.

It didn't help that CEO Mark Zuckerberg's public remarks were poorly received and that tech companies received widespread negative coverage.

Philip Morris

It's no secret that the standing of big tobacco has deteriorated over the last few decades, leaving brands like Phillip Morris to deal with the fallout.

Establishing a business based on coolness can be difficult if the Supreme Court rules that the product is harmful and addictive. By 2003, the public had realized that cigarettes were unhealthy, and Philip Morris, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, recognized the importance of improving its public image.

Since 2001, cigarette sales in the United States have decreased, something that is probably not good for rebuilding their corporate morale.

Additionally, with class-action lawsuits and growing anti-smoking sentiment, Phillip Morris is entangled constantly with a seemingly unending major public relations crisis.

Uber

Susan Fowler, a former Uber employee, published an essay detailing a pervasive culture of sexism and sexual harassment. A month later, a video of then-CEO Travis Kalanick arguing with an Uber driver surfaced, prompting Kalanick to issue a public apology. Uber was also sued several times in 2017, including one by Alphabet, Google's parent company, for alleged intellectual property theft involving self-driving car technology. The slew of sexual harassment lawsuits and investigations, led to the resignation of 13 company executives in the first half of 2017, and that included Kalanick's departure in June.

Kalanick's departure did not resolve the company's existing problems. According to a September Wall Street Journal article, the company is under FBI investigation for allegedly interfering with rival Lyft. Later that month, the company was stripped of its London operating license for lack of corporate responsibility.

Sears Holdings

Over a third of respondents in a Zogby's poll conducted in collaboration with 24/7, Wall St. reported having a negative customer experience with Sears, a company with one of the largest market capitalization.

Sears has the lowest customer satisfaction rating of any department store, according to the ACSI. It receives an average consumer rating of 77 out of 100, the lowest of any department store except Ross and Walmart.

Its declining sales reflect the company's waning popularity. In the US, the number of Sears and Kmart stores — both owned by Sears Holdings — has decreased from 3,467 to less than 1,300 in that same period. Also, the company plans to close over 100 additional locations through the spring of 2018. It is no wonder that it is now known as one of the companies with a negative brand image.

Fox Entertainment Group

Fox Entertainment Group owns Fox News Channel, one of the most popular cable networks in the US — and also one of the companies with bad reputations. The network has an unmistakable right-wing slant, and politically conservative Americans account for the vast majority of its viewership. As a result, a significant portion of Americans with left-leaning political beliefs either ignore or despise the media outlet.

Fox may have alienated even more Americans over the last year. In 2017, the company was involved in a scandal. The show was canceled after it was discovered that Bill O'Reilly, the anchor of one of the company’s most popular news show, "The O'Reilly Factor,", had settled multiple sexual harassment claims for a total of over $13 million. Similar allegations of sexual misconduct prompted the late Roger Ailes, the late Fox News CEO and founder, to resign in 2016.

Want to Protect Your Online Reputation? We Can Help!

Indeed, your company's reputation is critical to your success. Maintaining your corporate image is vital if you sell products or services online, use social media, or other digital marketing tools such as search engine optimization (SEO) or content marketing. Learn from the mistakes of the companies listed above, whose credibility dwindled over questionable employee practices, moralistic alignment and misrepresentation.

On the other hand, each employee employed by your business bears some responsibility for the company's reputation. Your obligation begins with educating yourself on the numerous facets of online behavior that contribute to your online reputation. Ascertain that you are intimately familiar with the triggering factors that affect the success of establishing your standing as a reliable organization.

The repercussions for a tarnished company image can be severe. Several businesses have a difficult time attracting customers and growing their bottom line. That is where our services at Chekkee enter the picture. We provide web content moderation that can help you get your brand back on its feet. We strengthen your brand and followers’ protection against threats to your credibility. Our team’s goal is to help position your company for online success with cutting-edge tools and expertise.

A poorly managed reputation can lead to your company’s ultimate demise. Get help before it’s too late!

Merlene Leano Avatar

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