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|In an annual study of the companies that Americans perceive as the most reputable, online retailer Amazon.com has held the number one position for the past three years. That run came to an end this year.
The study, compiled by the Boston-based The Reputation Institute, is the product of a survey that measured about 800 companies by gauging the perceptions of nearly 43,000 respondents familiar with them. The result saw the Swiss luxury timepiece producer Rolex oust Amazon from its top spot. The top-10 companies are:
9. Fruit of the Loom
10. Barnes & Noble
Last year American Express scored a 77.1 in RI's annual reputation assessment. This year, the company notched 72.7, and did not crack the top-100 most reputable countries list. It saw losses on six of the seven categories RI tracks. "For many years American Express had been the poster child for reputation strength in the financial services community. It’s really led the way with a commitment to diversity in the workplace, innovation of new products, and empowerment of small businesses." But most recently, the company suffered as it ended an exclusive contract with Costco and lost credit card co-branding with Jetblue & Fidelity. Also, the company has not been active in releasing innovative new products and its small-business program has lost steam.
Yahoo! in 2017 went from 'not great' to 'quite bad' in RI's reputation scoring, dropping from a RepTrak score of 71.4 in 2016 to 60.8. The delay in closing its acquisition by Verizon has affected perception, the strength of company governance is in question and a series of data breaches have been a public embarrassment and professional liability. "The very relevance of what is left of Yahoo! is really the question the general public is asking themselves: 'what do I need you for?' And in most cases the general public would say, 'not very much.'"
Respondents to this year's survey, in gauging reputation, were much more positive toward some industries than others. Industries that garnered the most respect came from companies in the consumer goods, food & beverage, transport and automotive spaces. Meanwhile, firms that operate in the financial, healthcare, telecommunications and energy sectors were viewed more negatively.