Brand reputation counts for a lot, particularly in a post-Banking Royal Commission era where consumers are increasingly conscious about the decisions they make.
Poor brand reputation will see customers take their patronage elsewhere, so preserving a good brand image is critical for business’ bottom line.
The Brand Institute of Australia has ranked Australia’s brands according to reputation – but the one that’s taken the crown will raise some eyebrows.
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Tech giant Google has been named as the company with the ‘healthiest’ reputation’, with a score 25 per cent higher than the next-best performing company, Bunnings Warehouse.
“Google has by far the healthiest reputation in Australia, and is particularly outstanding in Innovation as well as Communication and Financial Performance,” according to the Brand Institute’s 2019 National Reputation Health Report.
However, it did have some weak points. “It is not particularly healthy with regard to perceptions of Social Responsibility.”
The final report of the digital platforms inquiry by the competition watchdog released earlier this year found that greater regulatory power was needed to oversee the market power held by Google and Facebook and made 23 recommendations to crack down on their dominance.
And in late October, the ACCC announced it was taking Google to court for misleading consumers about its collection and use of personal location data.
Bunnings had a score of 32, noted for its high-performing operations and excellent communication, with Samsung scoring similarly for its products and services and prioritisation of innovation.
Here are the top 10 companies with the healthiest reputation in 2019:
Here are the bottom 10 companies in terms of reputation in 2019:
Big Banks rank poorly
The only bank to make it to the top 50 is ING, while Westpac ranked 56, Commonwealth Bank placed 61st, and ANZ sat at 70th place with NAB coming last among the Big Four at 73rd place.
AMP and Bank of Queensland both fell in the bottom 20.
Brand Institute of Australia CEO Karl Treacher said reputation is often likened with credibility, but that they were not the same thing.
“Organisational reputation plays a much larger role in consumer perception and behaviour,” he said.
For many Aussies, there exists an “inextricable link” between reputation and social responsibility, he added – but the report revealed otherwise.
“People assume that organisations that take appropriate action to be pro-social as corporate citizens are reputable with healthy reputation profiles.
“The findings from the National Reputation Health Report tell a different story, with many of the companies with the healthiest reputations seen to be inadequately investing in Social Responsibility.”
Reputation and company governance will continue to be a “development area” for Australian firms, he added.
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