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BMW, Sony top list of most reputable companies

A company’s image is more important than what it produces, or so says a recently released study which ranked BMW as the most reputable business in the world.

The third annual Global RepTrak 100 List by the Reputation Institute measured the reputations of the 100 most highly regarded companies across 15 countries including Australia, China, Japan, South Korea, UK and US.

The 10 companies with the best global reputations are:

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

BMW claimed the top spot from Google, which dropped to sixth place after holding the number one spot in 2010 and 2011. Microsoft was a new entry to the top 10, edging out Intel.

The Reputation Institute’s executive partner Kasper Ulf Nielsen said: “In today’s reputation economy, what you stand for matters more than what you produce and sell.”

“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,” he said.

According to the Index, only 11 percent of the top 100 companies have better reputations abroad than at home, revealing the difficulties a company faces in attempting to translate home country popularity overseas.

“Your reputation is an emotional connection which is built over time. It’s tied to your history and past actions. Exporting that emotion is proving to be very difficult,” Reputation Institute executive partner Nicolas Georges Trad said.

“Today, companies lose as much as 40 percent of recommendations outside their home markets. To improve sales, companies must invest in reputation,” he said.

The study indicated a strong correlation between a company’s reputation and consumer’s willingness to recommend it. With regard to the companies at the top of the list, 55 percent of consumers said they would definitely recommend their products to others, while only 22 percent would do the same for the companies nearer the bottom of the list.

“We live in a time where word-of-mouth is the number one driver of sales and competitive advantage. Investing in reputation will pay off on the bottom line,” Trad added.