A study by the Reputation Institute, conducted this time last year, has identified the world’s 100 most reputable companies – judged by 55,000 consumers in the 15 countries which make up three-quarters of global spending, including the US and the UK; India, China and Japan; and Russia (view the full list here).
We look to who came out top, scouring the press for clues (both positive and negative). Here’s what we found…
Google and The Walt Disney Company: 1st Place
Given the success of the Frozen franchise, the acquiring of Lucasfilm to spin out 6 more Star Wars films over the coming years, and a stream of live-action re-imaginings starring the likes of Angelina Jolie and Emma Watson, it’s no surprise that the company’s popularity – and profile – make the top spot.
Tied with them are Google, the search engine giant that has since dabbled in other areas of technology – most notably robotics, its somewhat failed Google Glass project, and the android operating system. What’s interesting, however, is that both corporations are no stranger to criticism: Walt Disney himself was once accused of anti-Semitism and racism, and issues of privacy, security and neutrality plague Google’s reputation.
Apple: 7th Place
Steve Jobs’ legacy, Apple, continues to go from strength to strength. Figures released at the start of the year show that the communications giant enjoyed profits of $18bn for the last quarter of 2014 – equivalent to 9 iPhones being snapped up per second. The survey also turned up that the company is considered to be the most innovative of its kind. And, with the impending April Apple Watch launch, the buzz only gets bigger. But Apple’s history is peppered with negativity: harsh labour conditions and both environmental and security concerns feature on the list.
LEGO: 9th Place
Thanks to the success of British-made, film tie-in video games (which include Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Batman), plus several theme parks, retail outlets and a successful kid’s movie, the Danish toymaker is building up an impressive portfolio. Offering a product that’s long been seen as unisex, it’s recently come under fire for marketing ranges to boys and girls – from its pink ‘n’ pretty Friends, to the boy-centred Bionicle.