As everyone working in communications knows, reputation is everything in business and the brand currently top of the reputation charts is Rolex. This is according to the latest Global RepTrak study, from the research and advisory firm Reputation Institute. We live in uncertain times, which may be the reason for the rise in popularity of heritage and luxury brands. After all, these are brands have been around for a long time, so appear dependable whilst the rest of the world seems unsafe.
Reputation grows in importance
Discussing the increasing importance of reputation in today’s political climate, James Bickford, managing director of Reputation Institute, says: “Reputation will be a bigger concern for businesses in 2017 than it has ever been before. The populist sentiment of 2016 that led to the Brexit vote and the election of President Trump is permeating through to have an impact on the corporate world. We are at a crossroads of uncertainty and trust and reputation is hanging in the balance.
“The UK public are now looking for something different to the corporate behaviour norms we had become used to – they are demanding to be treated with fairness, transparency and authenticity. Cover ups and ploys to gain favour no longer wash. Businesses need to realign their communications strategies to ensure they are communicating clearly and honestly.”
Giving examples of a brand that is employing these strategies to reap rewards, Bickford quotes Samsung: “Samsung’s swift and honest response to its recall of the Galaxy Note 7 phone has seen it improve its reputation over the last 12 months. On the other hand, the reckless handling of the workplace crisis experienced by Sports Direct has seen it fall even further down the rankings.”
- This year sees rise of heritage luxury brands including Rolex and Rolls-Royce, whilst consumer products took seven of the top 10 spots, with LEGO Group jumping four spots to second, and Adidas moving into the top 10.
- In the tech sector, Intel returned to the top 10 (to 8th place) in 2017 after a one-year absence. Meanwhile Google (5th place) fell two spots, Microsoft fell out of the top 10 to 11th, and Apple slipped 10 spots to 20th place with a drop of 1.7 points.
- Amongst automakers, both BMW Group (12th place) and Daimler (27th place) both fell out the top 10, while Toyota, Honda, Ford and GM all showed modest gains.
Older brands are safer brands
Listening to the news is always depressing, and that seems particularly true these days. But at least some things are still constant, which could explain why the top three companies in this year’s table, Rolex, LEGO and Walt Disney, are brands with a long tradition that are still going strong.
RepTrak is based on over 170,000 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2017, the survey includes comparative ratings, trends by demographic cuts, and insights into which companies are best regarded by stakeholders as well as what drives trust and supportive behaviours such as willingness to purchase a company’s products, recommend the brand, invest in or even work for the company. To access the full list visit click here.
The top 10 companies in RI’s 2017 Global RepTrak 100:
- LEGO Group
- The Walt Disney Company
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