From mass layoffs, to market volatility to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, the reputational landscape in 2022 was denser and more nuanced than ever. A confluence of market trends, economic headwinds and other variables reshaped the narratives around some of the world’s biggest companies, begging the question: How well do we truly know our favourite brands? Probably not nearly as well as we’d like to think.
To help make sense of 2022’s reputational winners and losers, the Signal AI 500 is a quantitative ranking derived from billions of data points across hundreds of topics and filtered through AI.
Key findings from Q4
- In the Purpose pillar, talent and environment/climate remained the core focus among the 500 most talked-about companies. Talent was an especially complex topic this year as the media narrative shifted from conversations around the great resignation to mass layoffs. In sustainability, climate change remained central, whilst other key topics included a heightened focus on efforts to preserve biodiversity (a conversation that trended largely positive, focused on more sustainable supply chains) and plastics (which saw negative coverage triple, with FMCG being put under the spotlight for its packaging practices).
- Negative conversations around executive compensation grew over 297% in Q4, as high executive pay contrasted sharply with mass layoffs and shrinking economies. Despite Apple’s relatively positive media perception, Tim Cook was the most debated CEO, with clear calls from Apple shareholders to reign in his $99M compensation package. Meanwhile, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was perceived as unjustly benefiting from a potential acquisition deal by Microsoft.
- It’s little surprise that Google ranked first in our total rankings, yet the prize for most impressive reputation is Lego, scoring the number 2 spot amongst biggest overperformers that outperformed their sector average.As one of the most positively-discussed companies in the Signal AI 500, Lego’s standing is predicated not just on its position as the world’s largest toy maker, but also its sustainability initiatives around plastic, and its innovative partnerships with Fortnite developer Epic Games, as well as UNICEF.
The world’s most talked-about brands
- Hyundai Motor
- Volkswagen Group
- General Motors
- Boston Consulting Group
- Tata Group
Since its launch last year, the Signal AI 500 has uncovered insights into the world’s most talked-about brands by challenging some of the bedrock assumptions of conventional reputation management. The ranking is global, incorporating coverage across 150 languages.
Article written by Shann Biglione, head of reputation tool Kelp
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