Google over Microsoft: Consumers rank Corporate America's reputation in Harris survey of 60 most visible companies

07/09/2008



Not only has the stock market lost ground since last fall, but so has the reputation of Corporate America in the eyes of consumers. Seven out of 11 industries saw their reputation decline last year from 2006, and 16 of the companies with the worst marks fell even further, according to the Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient (RQ) survey.



But despite a slide in Corporate America's image among consumers, the RQ found a strong statistical correlation between a company's overall reputation and the likelihood that consumers will purchase, recommend, or invest in a company or its products and services.



The RQ surveys thousands of American consumers in a two-step process (online and telephone interviews) to first identify the 60 most visible companies, and subsequently rank these companies based on their reputation in six categories: Emotional Appeal, Products & Services, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership, Workplace Environment, and Financial Performance.



While the RQ found that certain industry sector reputations—including airlines, consumer products, insurance/financial services, pharmaceutical, and retail—are perceived to have plummeted since 2006, the reputations of the most visible companies remained relatively stable. And while the overall the reputation of American companies continues to decline, a few companies are bucking the trend and building their reputations in this tough environment.



The survey also provides a road map for what areas linked to corporate reputation have the most impact on consumers.



According to Ken Powell, CEO, General Mills , "Reputation can be measured in recognition, employee recruitment and retention—even stock price multiple. But in the end, we believe the most important measure is trust. General Mills values its reputation tremendously, and we constantly strive to remain worthy of the trust of our customers, consumers, employees, investors, and communities."



What does it take to get to the top? Google provides a case in point. Four years ago, the company was not included among the top 60 most visible companies on the list. But this year, Google came in No. 1, beating last year's RQ reputation leader, Microsoft . Google also beat this year's second-runner-up, Johnson & Johnson , which was the top ranked company until last year, and since the inception of the survey in 1999.



How did Google achieve this climb?



"The company scores either in first or second place on reputation drivers of financial performance, vision/leadership, social responsibility, and workplace environment," says Robert Fronk, a senior VP with Harris Interactive in Rochester, N.Y. "For Americans to hold a company in high regard today, clearly more than just profits are needed. Companies need to focus on overall corporate social responsibility and how their employees are treated to build trust with today's consumers.



"Google received a top-ranking for social responsibility primarily due to its workplace environment," Fronk continues, "demonstrating that corporate responsibility, in the minds of consumers, starts with your own employees first."



The top 10 companies in this year's ranking are: 1) Google; 2) Johnson & Johnson; 3) Intel Corp.; 4) General Mills; 5) Kraft Foods; 6) Berkshire-Hathaway; 7) 3M Co.; 8) The Coca-Cola Co.; 9) Honda Motor Co.; and 10) Microsoft.





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me