Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

Summary: Apple and Google have topped a recent poll of reputable companies and brands. But Facebook doesn't appear on the list at all.


Apple has topped the ranks of other world-leading brands, organisations and consumer-focused product manufacturers, as having the best image for any American company.

As one might expect, in the midst of a Eurozone crisis and continued economic hardship, financial institutions ranked the worst.

Apple arrived at the top spot in Harris Interactive's annual public opinion poll on online brands. It even outperformed Google, which was relegated to number two. Not only that, the Cupertino-based company ranked higher than any other company ever had in the poll.

Last year, Apple brought out the long awaited iPhone 4S, amid disappointment over its lack of iPhone 5-goodness. The technology giant nevertheless outsold its previous range of smartphones in a record time, with over 4 million by the first weekend.

Out of just shy of 13,000 respondents, companies were ranked based on six qualities, including: leadership, financial performance, emotional appeal, workplace environment, social responsibility, and the quality of products and services.

Apple scored 85.62 on the scale out of 100, with Google following just behind on 82.82. Apple gained by the company driving for near-perfect product quality and its environmental record. In regards to emotional rapport, Steve Jobs' death is understood to have played its part in reviving empathy for the company.

But the company lost out on its position in China, where controversy bubbled just before and after Christmas, where workers at the Foxconn plant threatened suicide. Apple had been accused for supporting poor working conditions at the factories that make its flagship iPhone smartphone and iPad tablets.

Apple responded by probing the factories; with only today a statement from Apple saying that it has asked the Fair Labor Association, a third-party inspectorate, to look into its factories abroad.

Apple and Google aside, reached fourth place at 8.192, less than one percentage point away from its online cloud-storage rival.

Meanwhile, though Facebook is familiar to billions of people, with over 850 million users registered with the social network at the time of its initial public offering filing, did not appear on the list at all. "People don't currently think of Facebook as a company," Harris Interactive vice president Robert Fronk told Reuters.

But the figures appear to stop in the mid-80 mark. While Apple reached the highest score of any other company during this survey in its 13 years of running, many companies are suffering from bruised reputations.

The research group explained:

"An RQ score of 80 or above signifies a company with an "excellent reputation." Since first measured in 2000, Apple has shown steady improvement, earning an elite score of 85.62 this year, the highest RQ score ever achieved by any company in the 13 years of the RQ study.

Reflecting the negative mood of consumers, this year only eight companies earn such scores. This is a 50% decrease from 2011, when 16 companies earned this privileged status."


Topics: Apple, Social Enterprise

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  • Good to see/hear that recent articles have proven to be wrong.

    Like say "Apple's fanboy problem" ha! And claims that Apple's lawsuits will cause some sort of backlash.

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
    • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

      @James Quinn I think the backlash to any given company will come when that company manages to block the sale of items in a particular region, especially if the items are desired by a certain percentage of the population.

      If Samsung would manage to block the sale of iPads in my country, I would get pissed at Samsung. I'm sure people who like Samsung products will feel the same towards Apple if the opposite happens.

      I love Apple products I use them a lot (as well as MS and Linux tools). I've invested a lot in Apple and I don't want it to suffer from its actions.
      • And there is the rub.

        @IAmMarty ... What if Apple estimates it could loose say a hundred million or even a billion if it allows a competitor to take its property? And if it does not allow this it could at least in the short term loose some customers? Well at this point Apple is growing. It is selling more iPhones, iPads, and even Macs than ever before so the loss of some customers vs million even billions has to be weighed. Also I as a stockholder could sue Apple and it's management if I feel Apple is NOT protecting my investment by allowing other companies to use what I consider as a stockholder my property! It has happened and will happen again bet on it.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • Not all perfect

      @James Quinn
      [i]But the company lost out on its position in China, where controversy bubbled just before and after Christmas, where workers at the Foxconn plant threatened suicide.[/i]

      And most consumers don't know of the lawsuits, they're not reported in the news they watch, so no surprise there.
      William Farrel
      • Yeah they threaten suicide in the MS XBox division:)

        @William Farrel ... Still Apple did finish as the highest rated ever in the history of this particular survey. So it's pretty much all good.

        Pagan jim
        James Quinn
    • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

      @James Quinn For the record, re: Violet's piece on the "Apple fanboy problem", I completely agree with her, and frankly, am glad someone finally stood up to the minority of the Apple community that bully and troll people online.
      • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

      • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

        Come on Zack, you guys cater to trolls and bullys as well as "fanboys"! That's your readership.
  • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

    While suicide is an awful thing, anyone ever look at average suicide rates? In the US it is 11.3 people per 100,000 people.

    With Foxconn employing nearly 1m people, that means that it would be in line to have 113 suicide attempts given the rate of the US, so in having only 17 attempts per 1m people, that is quite low at a rate of only 1.7 per 100,000.

    To be clear that doesn't justify 16 hour work days, or conditions harmful to the health of the workers, or any kind of child labor, but it puts the suicide rate into perspective.

    Also given that those 17 attempts were over a decade, that suicide rate at Foxconn is even lower.
  • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

    I wonder how such an evil privacy invading company like Google comes second... It again proves that most of the public are ignorant or half-id***ts or the data itsself is cooked...
  • What about the rest of the list?

    You only have 5 of the companies on there.
    William Farrel
    • Curious about MS? I am as well.

      @William Farrel

      Pagan jim
      James Quinn
      • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

        @James Quinn The end of a giant ?
  • Love to see the whole results

    ESPECIALLY where Microsoft placed. My guess would be near the bottom...
    • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'


      Microsoft was 9th.
      • RE: Apple tops reputation survey; Facebook a 'non-factor'

        Up from 16th last year. That is a climb of 7 spots on the list. Apple climbed 4 spots.