For companies hoping to succeed in a dynamic and competitive global market, a consistently positive reputation for a wide range of factors, from product quality to corporate citizenship, is a necessity. That’s one of the biggest lessons from the 2016 Global RepTrak® 100, the world’s largest annual survey of corporate reputations.
The Global RepTrak® 100 ranks the world’s top companies based on more than 240,000 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2016 from members of the general public in 15 countries. It measures the public’s perception of the world’s top companies on the seven key rational dimensions of reputation: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and performance.
While the key drivers of reputation globally were products and services, governance and innovation, our findings clearly demonstrate that to be a winner in the global market, companies need to deliver on all seven dimensions.
The top three companies – Rolex, the Walt Disney Company and Google – all demonstrated strong or excellent scores in each dimension, which in turn means consumers are substantially more likely to buy and recommend their products and services. In fact, our research found that for every 5-point increase reputation, consumers’ willingness to recommend a company or product increased by 8.5 percent.
So which companies are winning the reputation game? In addition to Rolex, Disney and Google, the top 10 included BMW Group, Daimler, LEGO Group, Microsoft, Canon, Sony and Apple.
Different companies excelled in different categories, but consumers identified Rolex as the global leader in products and services, while Apple remains the global leader in innovation and leadership. Google earned top marks on performance and workplace, while Disney was perceived as demonstrating the best corporate social responsibility as indicated by citizenship and governance.
It’s important to note that the global top 10 has remained relatively stable for the past three years. Rolex, which occupied the fourth spot in 2014 and 2015, jumped to first place overall in 2016 owing to an “excellent” reputation in the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Italy and Australia, and a “strong” reputation in 10 other countries.
One notable absence from the 2016 Global RepTrak® 100 is German automaker Volkswagen, whose reputation dropped by 13.7 points globally in the wake of an emissions scandal. VW earned a strong Pulse score of 75 in 2015, good enough for 14th place on the Global RepTrak® 100 that year, but dropped to an average Pulse score of 61.3 in 2016, falling to 123rd position.
If there’s a clear lesson from this research, it is that excelling in a dynamic, global economy requires excellence across all dimensions. As the full report shows, each dimension counts for at least 12 percent of a company’s overall reputation, highlighting the need for integrated reputational platforms that operate across all areas and stakeholders.
By improving all seven reputational factors and effectively communicating those factors effectively to the public, companies can position themselves for success in markets global and local.