The Companies With the Best and Worst Reputations

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The Axios Harris Poll 100 names the companies with the best and worst reputations among consumers in the U.S. The top-ranked company in 2019 was grocery store chain Wegmans. The entity with the lowest ranking wasn't actually a company; it was the U.S. government.

Poll Methodology

The ranking was created in two steps. At first, 6,118 U.S. adults were asked the following question in November 2018: "Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which two—in your opinion—stand out as having the best reputations overall?" They were then asked the same question only with "worst" substituted for "best."

The 100 organizations that were named most often—as either best or worst—were compiled into a list of "most visible companies." (Subsidiaries or brands were tallied under the parent company.) In online interviews conducted in January 2019, 18,228 Americans were randomly assigned to discuss the reputations of two of the companies with which they were either very or somewhat familiar.

Those surveyed were asked to rate the two companies based on the following nine attributes in seven categories:

Affinity

Company I trust

Culture

Good company to work for

Ethics

Maintains high ethical standards

Citizenship

Shares my values
Supports good causes

Vision

Clear vision for future

Growth

Strong prospects for growth

Products & Services

Develops innovative products and services
Offers high-quality products and services

Based on the responses, the companies were given a Reputation Quotient (RQ)—with a maximum value of 100—that was used to determine where they stood in the ranking.

If a company was not in the list of 100, its reputation wasn't quantified because it wasn't among the most visible companies determined by the initial polling.

The Top 10

Grocery retailers, clothing companies, and electronics manufacturers took many of the highest spots in the ranking. Here are the top 10, with each company's RQ.

  • Grocery store chain Wegmans, 83.0
  • Internet retailer Amazon.com, 82.3
  • Outdoor clothing company Patagonia, 81.4
  • Outdoor clothing company L.L. Bean, 80.7
  • Media and entertainment company Walt Disney, 80.4
  • Grocery store chain Publix, 80.3
  • Electronics maker Samsung, 80.0
  • Consumer products company Procter & Gamble, 79.8
  • Software company Microsoft, 79.7
  • Electronics maker Sony, 79.4

Companies that scored 80.0 or higher were considered Excellent. Those that scored 75.0 to 79.9 were considered Very Good.

Five of the companies in the top 10 were among the most improved from 2018: Samsung went from No. 35 to No. 7; Sony, from No. 31 to No. 10; Procter & Gamble, from No. 20 to No. 8; L.L. Bean, from No. 15 to No. 4; and Patagonia, from No. 9 to No. 3.

The Bottom 10

Banks and investment banks took three of the lowest spots. Also represented was the real estate company with U.S. President Donald Trump's family name. Here are the bottom 10, with each company's RQ.

  • Cable, internet, media, and entertainment company Comcast, 61.4
  • Financial services company Bank of America, 60.9
  • Investment bank Goldman Sachs, 60.0
  • Social media company Facebook, 58.1
  • Satellite television company Dish Network, 56.9
  • Financial services company Wells Fargo, 52.7
  • Retailer Sears, 52.3
  • Real estate company The Trump Organization, 50.1
  • Tobacco company Philip Morris, 49.4
  • The U.S. government, 48.6

Companies that scored 55.0 to 64.9 were considered Poor, those that scored 50.0 to 54.9 were considered Very Poor, and those that scored below 50.0 were considered Critical.

Three of the companies in the bottom 10 were among the biggest decliners from 2018: Facebook went from No. 51 to No. 94; Comcast, from No. 78 to No. 91; and Sears, from No. 88 to No. 97.