Ben & Jerry's slips in 2000 corporate reputation ranks

ROCHESTER, NY: Ben & Jerry's, once an example of how good corporate reputation can breed sales, is the most prominent loser in the latest survey on the subject from Harris Interactive and the Reputation Institute.

ROCHESTER, NY: Ben & Jerry's, once an example of how good corporate reputation can breed sales, is the most prominent loser in the latest survey on the subject from Harris Interactive and the Reputation Institute.

ROCHESTER, NY: Ben & Jerry's, once an example of how good corporate reputation can breed sales, is the most prominent loser in the latest survey on the subject from Harris Interactive and the Reputation Institute.

The ice cream company, owned by Unilever since May 2000, plummeted to 30 from its number-five slot in last year's survey.

Coca-Cola also lost significant ground, dropping from second place in last year's survey to 16 this year. This mirrors Coca-Cola's fall in Fortune magazine's reputation survey released last week (see Analysis, p. 11).

Three technology firms were among those with lower reputation rankings, a move consistent with their falling stock prices. Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Xerox all fell from the top 10.

Companies that rose in the eyes of the 26,011 consumers who took part in the poll included Sony, Anheuser-Busch, IBM and Procter & Gamble.

Maytag went straight to second place after failing to even make the ranking last year, while Johnson & Johnson clung to its top spot.

Whereas the Fortune study measures corporate reputation as judged by industry executives and analysts, the Harris poll is based on consumers' opinions. Respondents were asked to rate the companies according to six categories. Although Johnson & Johnson rated number one in both emotional appeal, and products and services, and second for workplace environment and social responsibility, it scored much lower when judged on vision and leadership, and financial performance.

Microsoft, despite only ranking ninth overall, scored the highest in the vision and leadership, and financial performance categories.

This is the second survey by the Reputation Institute, which aims to show a link between reputation and market value.

Charles Fombrum is professor of management at the Stern School of New York University, and one of the founders of the Reputation Institute.

He pointed out that firms that climbed up the ranking in this year's study made an average 8% gain in market value over the past year. Those that fell suffered an average 28% decrease in capitalization.

See Editorial, p.10



THE BEST REPS

The following list presents the 10 companies with the best reputations according to surveyed Americans

  Rank       Company

00    99

1     1      Johnson & Johnson





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