There’s nothing more important for brands these days than to cultivate and display a solid reputation—and to be sure, some brands do it much better than others. Just ask some of the world’s biggest brands that have watched their reputations plummet over the last year: Google, Amazon, Nike and Facebook—perennial leaders in reputation rankings—all saw their image stock go into a tailspin in 2018, according to the findings of the latest U.S. RepTrak 100 rankings from data insights tech firm Reputation Institute.
So which brands are doing it right?
Netflix leap-frogged some of the most highly regarded companies in the U.S. to earn the #1 ranking in the new report, the biggest corporate reputation study ever conducted in the U.S. The world’s leading streaming video service—with over 139 million paid memberships in over 190 countries—leapt 23 spots to first place this year, fending off perennial contenders such as Amazon, Hershey and Campbell’s, among many others.
It was the first time in the 12-year history of the rankings that any company has surged from so deep in the top tier pack to the number one spot over the course of a single year.
Much less favorable judgment, however, was passed on several companies that, like Netflix, are also household names:
- Google dropped 63 spots, falling out of the U.S. RepTrak 100 for the first time.
- Amazon reigned as #1 in the study from 2014-2017 but didn’t make it into the top 50 this year.
- Nike, #2 last year, dropped to 60th place, a ranking influenced by the company’s politically and socially charged year.
- Facebook woes continued to send it further back and has gone into free-fall in recording one of the lowest reputation scores measured as part of the study.
- Campbell’s experienced a setback, as last year’s #1 is no longer in the top 10.
The study assessed the reputation of more than 2,200 companies in the U.S. The precedent-setting undertaking included over 167,000 individual ratings and was conducted in January-February 2019.
“Netflix’s achievement, jumping 23 spots to first place in a single year, is unprecedented,” said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, Reputation Institute’s chief reputation officer, in a news release. “Increasing the power of its brand globally, innovating as a content creator, exhibiting corporate responsibility, and taking decisive action on important issues all contributed to the company’s giant leap and #1 ranking.
The top 10 companies in the 2019 U.S. RepTrak 100 are:
“2019 is a year of significant change,” Hahn-Griffiths said. “Only two companies who made last year’s top 10 repeated this year. So welcome to ‘reputation judgment day,’ when companies are scrutinized on all aspects of their organization’s ethics, leadership, values, and beyond. There really is no longer anywhere to hide.”