Following scandals, recalls, and self-inflicted economic crises, the American public's overall corporate reputation is experiencing rehabilitation. Every year since 1999, Harris Interactive measures the reputations of the 60 Most Visible Companies in the US, and the 2011 version is now available.
For the 54 companies measured in both 2010 and 2011, 18 had significant positive increases, compared to only two declines. Google ranked highest, displacing Berkshire Hathaway, which fell to fourth position. Johnson & Johnson ranked second again, followed by 3M Company at third. Apple ranked fifth, as it continues a steady rise begun in 2002. Intel took sixth place, Kraft Foods was seventh, Amazon was eighth, General Mills was number nine, and the Walt Disney Company grabbed 10th. Facebook was a newcomer to the RQ Most Visible List, debuting in the middle of the pack in 31st place.
As you can see in the chart above, Harris Interactive actually gave 16 companies an Excellent reputation level. In addition to the top 10, the six other companies that were rated favorably were Proctor and Gamble, SC Johnson, UPS, Sony, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft.
Harris Interactive says the technology sector continues to be perceived most positively, with 75 percent giving the sector a positive rating, versus the number two sector, retail, which received 57 percent positive. Technology/Internet and Consumer Goods companies dominate the top rankings, with top 10 finishers 3M, Apple, and Amazon benefitting from being associated with both industries.
"The record 16 companies that received RQ scores reflective of an excellent reputation should all be lauded for their focus and commitment to reputation management," Robert Fronk, Senior Vice President, Global Practice Lead, Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, said in a statement. "These companies recognize that it is this behavioral commitment that earns them reputation equity, not tactics designed to help them score well on lists like these."