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New Reputation Institute Study Finds the Companies with the Best Global Reputations

A newly released global reputation management study of more than 100,000 consumers shows that who you are as a company is more important than what you produce, with BMW, Sony and Walt Disney Company topping the list of the most reputable companies. The third annual Global RepTrak 100, by reputation consultancy firm Reputation Institute, identifies how stakeholders perceive companies and how those perceptions affect purchasing behavior.

The study shows that in order to win support and recommendations, a company needs to tell its story in a way that connects with stakeholders on a global level. This is a challenge that even the best companies struggle with. Nowhere was a strong reputation platform and good public relations more important this year than with IT giant Apple, which maintained its high ranking despite the loss of its iconic leader, Steve Jobs. "In today's reputation economy, what you stand for matters more than what you produce and sell," said Reputation Institute's executive partner Kasper Ulf Nielsen in a news release. "People's willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60 percent by their perceptions of the company and only 40 percent by their perceptions of their products."

The companies with the ten best global reputations are:

  1. BMW
  2. Sony
  3. Walt Disney Company
  4. Daimler
  5. Apple
  6. Google
  7. Microsoft
  8. Volkswagen
  9. Canon
  10. LEGO Group

Results from the 2012 Global RepTrak 100 study showed a strong correlation between a company's reputation and consumers' willingness to recommend it. For the top companies, 55 percent of consumers said they would definitely recommend their products to others, compared with only 22 percent for the companies at the bottom of the list.

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