By Aldo Panessidi
Brand reputation can be hard to quantify. The way consumers feel and the degree of trust they assign a company and its brand are tied up into a lot of intangibles. However, Harris Interactive, a marketing research firm has developed a Reputation Quotient to measure brand reputation. Comprised of six dimensions of reputation, this year’s new front runner, Apple was top-ranked in four: products and services, financial performance, workplace environment, and vision and leadership. The California based company was outscored by Whole Foods in the social responsibility category and by Amazon in the emotional appeal dimension of reputation.
This year marks the firm’s 13th annual Reputation Quotient survey and Apple snagged a score of 85.62, the highest score recorded since the survey began. Furthermore, in other Google vs Apple episodes, Apple has edged out Google from its top spot in 2011’s poll. Another cloud-service provider, Amazon joined the ranks of the top 5 companies and the list was rounded out by Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods.
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According to Robert Fronk, the executive vice president of Harris Interactive, the rise of these kinds of companies to the top ranks is not unexpected. “We are seeing the emergence of a group of companies that garner reputation equity by being positively associated with multiple industries […] companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon.com combine innovation and leadership across multiple business areas, giving them true competitive advantage.”
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Between the iconic mobile tech devices (the iPad, iPhone, iPod, iTouch etc), the must-have accessories for those devices (docking stations, headphones and the like), and cloud services that Apple is going to bring to our homes with an iTV Apple fits Fronk’s model very well. Google will deliver comparable innovation and products, but may be hurting its brand reputation by not having the total control over device creation by its myriad of manufacturers as Apple does. Their core approaches to business, development and brand management vary – but then again, so does the name of which company reigns supreme.