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Harris Interactive has released the results of its 14th annual Reputation Quotient Study and there are some interesting results. Here is a short summary:

  • Amazon ranks No. 1
  • Of the 2013 top 5 picks, only Google and Apple lost ranking points since last year
  • Out of the top 10, besides Amazon, only three companies increased in ranking points since last year (The Walt Disney Company, Johnson & Johnson, and Costco, who moved into the top 10 from 19)
  • UPS fell out of the top 10 in 2012 to completely out of the top 60 in 2013
  • Facebook rose from not on the list in 2012 to No. 42 in 2013
  • With Microsoft at No. 15 and Google at No. 4, it makes you wonder how anyone thinks Bing can compete with Google for search share
  • Finally, the ranking quotients are lower overall this year from last year (for instance, Amazon at No. 1 has a lower quotient this year than Apple did last year when it was No. 1; this is true of all the place rankings)

How The Reputation Quotient Is Derived

One of the most surprising aspects of this study are the criteria used to judge reputation and how they’ve changed in the past two years. In 2011, consumers judged reputation by respect and admiration, trust for the company, high ethical standards, whether they outperform the competition, and whether consumers get good value for their money. In 2013, the criteria include:

  • Competitive performance
  • Admiration and respect for the company
  • Trust for the company
  • Whether it plays a valuable social role
  • Is it a good company to work for
  • and the “feel good” factor

I’m with Frank Reed. Those criteria scream narcissism to me. But they do indicate that Amazon’s reputation is based on a perception that consumers have toward the company, namely, that it can be trusted and offers a benefit to consumers, employees, and society as a whole. Not to mention, they’re beating the socks off of their competition, and who doesn’t like a winner?

Now for the million dollar question: What can you take from this study to improve your company’s reputation?

Read all the results of the study here.

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