Amazon tops - again - Reputation Institute's U.S. top 100 list

Companies including Samsung, Johnson & Johnson, and Netflix were in the top 10. One reason why: they scored well with millennials.

NEW YORK: The Reputation Institute took the wraps off its list of the 100 most reputable U.S. companies on Tuesday, with Amazon in the top spot for the third year in a row.

Hallmark, Samsung, Kellogg’s, Sony, Johnson & Johnson, Rolex, Intel, Netflix, and Walt Disney rounded out the U.S. top 10 list.

The companies ranked high for four reasons, said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, VP of U.S. strategy consulting at the organization: scoring well with millennials, creating a deep sense of brand purpose, having strong CSR and values, and being open and expressive with consumers.

"All companies in the top 10 have an ‘excellent’ score," he said. "We‘ve seen reputation rise overall as the U.S. economy has improved."

Reputation Institute has been releasing the report for 11 years. It conducted its annual questionnaire online, collecting more than 83,000 ratings from well-informed consumers. The group measures reputation based on seven elements: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership, and performance.

The accompanying report noted several brand comparisons, particularly the rivalry between Samsung, which was number three, and Apple, which crack to break the top 100.

"Samsung completely outperforms Apple," Hahn-Griffiths said. "It is a company that’s transparent versus Apple’s opaque, inclusive versus exclusive, and making the world a better place versus Apple just trying to be cool."

Chipotle’s E. coli crisis took a huge toll on its reputation, according to the report. Its score fell 18 points from last year after the food-safety crisis that plagued it in the fourth quarter.

"That is a precipitous decline by any stretch of the imagination. They went to market with a high-minded purpose for food with integrity and failed to deliver on that," Hahn-Griffiths said.

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