RI is a reputation management consulting firm with offices in New York and Copenhagen. This year’s list is the 10th edition, and results were compiled from a survey of 61,000 people in 15 countries. Kasper Ulf Nielsen, executive partner and cofounder of RI, talked Susan Adams of Forbes through the results.
BMW tops reputable companies list rated by consumers
The list is interesting because it ranks consumer perception of reputable companies rather than company internal practices. BMW tops the list despite the fact that it produces gas-guzzling, pollution-producing products. Nielsen believes that this may be due to the fact that the company makes a real effort to portray itself as a local business, wherever it may be. Fellow carmaker Daimler was number 3 on the reputable list, while Volkswagen came in 14th, Honda 61st, Ford 65th and General Motors in 96th.
Number 2 on the list is tech giant Google, thanks to its strong corporate credo and good treatment of staff, as well as the fact that the company’s search engine is an invaluable everyday tool for a lot of people. One potential threat to its reputation could be the anti-trust lawsuits currently filed against the company, which have so far not had any negative effect, but could do in the future.
Swiss watchmaker Rolex took 4th on the list thanks to the perception that its products are high-quality, long-lasting and connected to tradition and family. Toy manufacturer Lego took 5th place, perhaps due to the company’s efforts to make today’s children do something other than stare at a screen.
Interestingly, energy producers are entirely absent from the list of reputable companies although Exxon Mobil and BP both meet the study requirements. Another sector which is not trusted by consumers is financial services, which Nielsen says are “seen as unethical, greedy, self-serving, and not caring about anything else but themselves and profits.”
However three of the biggest credit card providers do make the list: Visa at No. 27, Mastercard at No. 49 and American Express at No. 93.
One sector which seems to be making some headway in managing its reputation is pharmaceuticals. This year both GSK and Bristol-Myers managed to make the list, coming in joint 97th. They join Abbott Laboratories, making a total of 3 pharmaceutical firms in the top 100.