WEDNESDAY 20 APR 2016 9:55 AM


Quality products, customer service excellence, openness and transparency and ethical business are the key points the Reputation Institute’s Ed Coke says build corporate reputation. The organisation has measured reputation across seven parameters for the past two decades.

The RepTrak 150 rating explores reputation within the framework of financial performance and uses seven factors, like quality of services, innovation and governance, to determine which companies have the best reputations. This year’s report shows UK companies lagging behind their European and international counterparts, a trend Coke says has been on the rise in recent years.

Lego tops the charts, followed closely by Ikea. “There is a fundamental difference between sentiments that the media picks up on and the longer-term reputational trends. Lego is an example where we’ve seen strong performance for a number of years now. They’re a regular top 10 player. I wouldn’t say it’s bulletproof, but they take a holistic response to managing their reputation and dealing with those issues around sentiment and we see that reflected in the data set,” Coke says.

The only two British companies in the top 10 are Rolls Royce and Aston Martin, at fifth and sixth, respectively. Coke says traditionally reputationally-sound companies like John Lewis and M&S are no longer leading the pack internationally, “When you look at the likes of the bedrocks of the UK’s strong reputational performers in the past, they’re still strong, but we do see increased competition in the round from international challengers.”

He also notes that retail banking is still recovering from the recession and other sectors like telecoms and utilities are perennially low-ranking sectors. Yet, Nationwide and O2 stand out as responding well to reputation challenges.

Crisis can impact poor reputation, as Thomas Cook, TalkTalk and Volkswagen have discovered. “The salient lesson there is to learn from some of the mistakes from others in terms of handling a crisis and to learn from some of the benefits of those international organisations that have been in the news for the right reasons,” says Coke.

The trend toward a lower reputation for UK companies balks the global standard which shows people of any given country prefer their country’s companies to international ones. That the UK public does not, puts UK plcs at a competitive disadvantage, according to the Reputation Institute.

The top 10:

  1. Lego
  2. Ikea
  3. BMW Group
  4. Sony
  5. Rolls-Royce
  6. Aston Martin
  7. Rolex
  8. Samsung
  9. Bosch
  10. Kellogg’s