Reputation can make or break a company, increasingly so in a social media-saturated world (no surprise, then, that the number of PRs has risen 51% in the last two years to 55,000).
MT keeps a beady eye on that most magic of dusts with Britain’s Most Admired Companies, which measures companies’ standing amongst their peers. The Reputation Institute is one organisation that has had a stab at ranking the reputation of businesses with the general public, surveying 15,000 people in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the UK.
Having undergone a glittering renaissance since almost going bankrupt 11 years ago, Lego came out top in the UK. The Danish toymaker was also given the title of ‘world’s most powerful brand’ earlier this year, with its ability to flog £130 Stars Wars spaceship sets to parents unrivalled.
Taking second place in the UK was Kellogg’s, followed by the only British brand in the UK top ten, aerospace giant Rolls-Royce (a rare showing for a business that isn’t really consumer-facing, especially given the rankings were of the world’s 100 ‘most visible’ companies). Sony claimed fourth place despite the excruciatingly embarrassing hack of its films division last December.
Sony was also third in the EU’s five biggest countries, behind Lego. BMW Group, which owns Mini and Rolls-Royce cars, took the number one spot.
People rated companies on seven factors: innovation, products/services, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance. These rankings were then collated and companies assigned a score on a scale of 1-100 (where 80+ is ‘excellent/top tier’ and below 40 is ‘poor/bottom tier’).
And these numbers may well have real-world ramifications – a 5-point increase in reputation was correlated with an 8.5% increase in the proportion of people who say they would recommend the company to others.
But there’s a caveat. While not many people were outright negative about companies on any measure (6% or less), there were plenty of those whom Reputation Institute labelled ‘fence sitters.’
Source: Reputation Institute
Some businesses may be content to hide in the shadows of anonymity or are pleased they don’t stir up any animosity. But with the competition for customers, talented staff and any sort of attention at all never hotter, all companies would do well to pay close attention to their reputation. After all, you never know when a social media firestorm may sneak up and scorch you.
The companies with the best reputation in the UK
1. Lego – 86.2
2. Kellogg’s – 85.2
3. Rolls-Royce – 85.1
4. Sony – 84.2
5. Samsung – 83.9
6. Rolex – 83.4
7. BMW Group – 83.2
8. Volkswagen – 82.7
9. The Walt Disney Company – 82.3
10. Amazon – 81.9
The companies with the best reputation in the EU’s five largest countries
1. BMW – 81.9
2. Lego – 81.5
3. Sony – 80.7
4. Samsung – 80.2
5. The Walt Disney Company – 79.6
6. Daimler – 79.3
7. Canon – 79.1
8. Google – 79.0
9. Ferrero – 78.8
10. Michelin – 78.4