Kraft, UPS, FedEx Tops In Reputation Among U.S. Consumers


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The same information was posted by Forbes, although not detailed as to how companies earned their ranking.

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Source: Marketing Daily

Kraft, UPS, FedEx Tops In Reputation Among U.S. Consumers
by Nina M. Lentini, Friday, Jun 1, 2007 5:01 AM ETOF THE 100 LARGEST COMPANIES rated in the U.S. by the general public, Kraft Foods earned the highest Reputation Pulse of 81.07, as computed by the Reputation Institute.

The score indicates that consumers have very high trust, respect, and good feeling for the company, says the institute.

Anthony Johndrow, managing director of the institute's U.S. office, says of Kraft: "People have to trust them in order to buy their products--it's food you give to your family that's made by that company. There is definitely a relationship there that's a potential trend."

UPS and FedEx, the two delivery and transportation giants, earn high praise from the public and come in second and third respectively, followed closely by pharma's perennial public favorite, Johnson & Johnson. Walt Disney rounds out the Top 5 with a strong Pulse score of 78.37.

Coca-Cola leads a second tier of companies that includes P&G, Caterpillar, 3M, Deere, PepsiCo, and Publix Super Markets.

But, remember, this is just the United States. Among the world's companies, only Kraft and UPS managed to gain a foothold in the Top 25, at No. 15 and 25, respectively.

Johndrow explains American companies' relatively poor showing by highlighting the retail segment, whose members in the U.S. "tend to get beat up," he says.
"Retailers do well in Europe, where they are leaders in corporate reputation," he says. "They are really focused and tend to set themselves apart. They're not just good, they're good corporate citizens, relevant corporate citizens.
Presciently describing Wal-Mart's former ad agency's now public description of the retail giant's challenges, Johndrow said of American retailers: "They have a huge impact on a community and emphasize that role in the community, whereas Wal-Mart, for example, is seen as an imposition on the community. People only know what they read in the media."
The Reputation Institute's results this year show that dimension was not the most important criterion when judging a company's reputation, says Johndrow. "Citizenship edged out products and services."

Consumers are considering that it's not just what this company does for me that's important but what it's doing in society: Is it responsible? Is it doing good?

"Companies in Europe have been socially responsible and good citizens more so than in the United States," Johndrow notes. Overseas, consumers are familiar with legislation, non-governmental organizations and activism over the last decade that has led to change for the better, particularly where the environment is concerned.

"It's only in the last few years that companies in the U.S. have taken the lead in this area," he says. "They are really behind in speaking to what the stakeholders expect. U.S. companies are good at talking about their quarterly earnings and their innovations.
Meanwhile, what their public is expecting to hear is what kind of a citizen they are.

"Low prices are not having a positive impact on society." Among U.S. companies alone, Publix Super Markets earned the highest rating in the retail segment, and was one of 11 retailers in the Top 50 that includes J.C. Penney (73.71), Costco Wholesale (72.45), Lowe's (70.85), Home Depot (69.76), Target (69.61), Best Buy (69.44), CVS (69.37), Walgreen (68.77), and Kroger (65.64).

The IT sector was led by Apple with a strong reputation of 73.71 followed closely by Microsoft (72.95), Intel (72.73), HP (71.35), Dell (70.09), Cisco (69.50), and IBM (69.05), all of which are in the Top 50.