World’s Best Corporate Reputations: Apple #22, Google #4, & Microsoft #1

The results are here of the eight-annual Harris Interactive/The Wall Street Journal ranking of the world’s best and worst corporate reputations. Helped immensely by Bill Gates philanthropy, Microsoft dethroned cutesy Johnson & Johnson known for its emotionally appealing baby products. Interesting that around the same time a report comes out saying Microsoft has the best reputation, another article explains that “Few Rush Out to Buy New Windows Vista” citing consumers waiting for the bugs to be worked out.

Microsoft was given very high marks for leadership and financial results, though Gates’ personal philanthropy may have been the driving force to get the company to the number one spot. Here’s what one respondent had to say:

“The involvement of Bill Gates and his wife in their charitable foundation has had a definite impact on Microsoft’s reputation,” explained Enriqueta Lopez Ramos, “It’s hard to separate Bill Gates’s image from that of Microsoft; to me, they’re one and the same.”

Here’s how the study works:

Harris Interactive conducts the “Reputation Quotient” survey in two phases. The first phase includes 7,886 respondents who were contacted online or by phone last summer and asked to pick four companies: two they think have the best reputations and two with the worst.

The 60 companies picked most were then rated online last fall by 22,480 Americans. Each company then was assigned a score and ranking determined by those evaluations. The companies were rated on 20 attributes in six categories: financial performance, social responsibility, workplace environment, quality of products and
services, vision and leadership, and emotional appeal.

Incidentally, the tech industry is head and shoulders above any other industry for positive ratings, beating out travel & tourism, retailing, and consumer products.

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