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Amazon.com lands in prime spot atop reputation rankings in 14th Annual Harris Poll RQ® Study

Amazon.com lands in prime spot atop reputation rankings in 14th Annual Harris
                                Poll RQ® Study

Apple and Google join Amazon in top five as companies that have transcended
tech. The Walt Disney Company, Johnson & Johnson, and The Coca-Cola Company
complete list of companies with great reputations according to the 2013 Harris
Poll Reputation Quotient®.

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2013

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --While the overall perception of
corporate America remains relatively grim, there were mixed signals to be
found in the results of the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study which engages over
14,000 members of the general public to measure the reputations of the sixty
most visible companies in the country.

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16 percent of the public said that the reputation of corporate America showed
some improvement, 7 percent more than in 2012, while 49 percent said it
declined, which was 11 percent less than those who felt this way last year.
Only six companies achieved RQ scores of eighty and above, which signifies a
great reputation, 25 percent fewer companies than in 2012 and nearly
two-thirds less than just two years ago.

"The public seem to have become pragmatically realistic with their
expectations of corporate
America," says Robert Fronk, Executive Vice President of Reputation Management
at Harris Interactive, publisher of the Harris Poll®, "and we characterize
this year's overall findings as the great muddling of corporate America."

Earning the highest reputation this year is Amazon.com, edging out last year's
most reputable company, Apple, which is ranked second. This is Amazon's first
time earning the top ranking, but the fifth consecutive year with a great
reputation score. The Walt Disney Company, Google, and Johnson & Johnson
complete the top five. This is Google's eight consecutive top five appearance,
an incredible achievement for a fourteen year old company.

AIG and Goldman Sachs return to the bottom two reputation positions on the
list of the most visible companies, joined by Halliburton, American Airlines,
and Bank of America. With a full six point increase in RQ score though, Bank
of America had the highest year-over-year increase in the 2013 study. Best Buy
and Honda experienced the greatest decline in RQ scores, 6.76 and 4.73 points,
respectively.

RQ measures six dimensions that comprise reputation and influence consumer
behavior. The dimensions and the 2013 leaders are:

  oSocial Responsibility – Whole Foods
  oEmotional Appeal – Amazon.com
  oFinancial Performance – Apple
  oProducts & Services – Amazon.com
  oVision & Leadership – Apple
  oWorkplace Environment – Google

Amazon's reputation strength runs wide and deep as it ranked in the top five
in five of the six dimensions of reputation. Amazon had a five point advantage
over any other company in the study in the dimension of Emotional Appeal,
despite an entirely virtual relationship with the public. Amazon also achieved
the top rating in the dimension of Products & Services.

Amazon earned nearly 100 percent positive ratings on all measures related to
Trust. More than 50 percent of respondents also recall discussing Amazon with
friends and family in the past year, and nearly 100 percent of these
conversations were positive.

"Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship
with the public without being perceived as intrusive," adds Fronk. "And as the
company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than
nine in ten members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and
family."

The results for Apple and Google are equally as impressive as those for Amazon
and continue a compelling trend that has been developing for the past few
years – companies that begin in the technology sector, which is by far and
away the highest-rated industry when it comes to reputation, absorb the
reputation equity from the industry, then transcend the industry to become a
more multi-faceted business. Companies that are able to do this are perceived
to "Play A Valuable Social Role," a characteristic, which according to the RQ
study, has become a key driver of reputation.

By transcending beyond being thought of as tech companies, Amazon, Apple, and
Google earn high marks for the other drivers of great reputation as well;
Trust, Admiration, Respect, Outperforming Their Competition, and Being A Great
Company To Work For.

While still in negative territory, the banking industry showed some
encouraging signs in 2013. Positive ratings of the industry are now 25
percent, a more than 50 percent increase from 2012. Wells Fargo became the
first of the four big banking companies in the past four years to move from
negative to positive equity in the dimension of Emotional Appeal. Harris's
fourteen years of conducting the RQ study show that a company cannot build or
maintain positive reputation without this positive equity. Wells Fargo also
received significantly higher marks on attributes related to its people and
work environment, and it is possible that these may be the first signs of a
bank once again being seen as trusted.

What can companies learn from the 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study?

Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing importance that
playing a valuable social role has on reputation, purchase consideration,
advocacy and positive word of mouth. This is about a business having a
purpose, not just checking the box on social responsibility or sustainability.

Additionally, companies need to adapt to a major trend in consumer behavior.
More than 60 percent of consumers now "pro-actively try to learn more about
how a company conducts itself" before they are willing to consider that
company's products or services. This group, which Harris calls Seekers:

  oProactively engage in conversations with others about what they find out
    about a company;
  oIn 60 percent of cases, decide NOT to do business with a company because
    of something they learn about that company; and
  oActively try to influence friends and family on whether to do business or
    not with a company based upon what they have learned about that company's
    conduct.

Reputation Quotient Methodology

In its 14^th consecutive year, the annual RQ surveys more than 19,000 members
(includes nomination and rating phases) of the American general public,
utilizing its proprietary online panel. Respondents are first asked to
identify the 60 most visible companies and then surveyed to rate these
companies based on their reputation on 20 different attributes that comprise
the RQ instrument. The attributes are then grouped into six different
reputation dimensions: Emotional Appeal, Products & Services, Social
Responsibility, Vision & Leadership, Workplace Environment, and Financial
Performance. In addition to the twenty attributes, the study includes a
number of reputation-related questions that help provide a comprehensive
understanding of public perceptions. The 2013 Harris Poll RQ Study was
conducted from November 13, 2012 to November 30, 2012. For more information on
the 2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® Study, visit
http://www.harrisinteractive.com/Products/ReputationQuotient.aspx.

About Harris Interactive

Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms,
leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant
insight into actionable foresight. Known widely forthe Harris Poll®and for
pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary
solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and
reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and
communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of
industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy,
telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant,
and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of
multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing
our client's research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries
and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris
specializes in delivering research solutions that help us - and our clients -
stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please
visitwww.harrisinteractive.com.

Related Links:
2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient Executive Summary Video
2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient Public Perspective Video
2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient Product Overview
Harris Poll on Twitter

Press Contacts:
Corporate Communications
Harris Interactive
212-539-9600
press@harrisinteractive.com 

Kyle Kuhnel
Gibbs & Soell
212-697-2600 ext. 1256
kkuhnel@gibbs-soell.com



SOURCE Harris Interactive

Website: http://www.harrisinteractive.com
 
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