In a 2020 Axios/Harris Survey, participants were asked which company had the best corporate reputation in the U.S. The Clorox Company was first in a top 100 list.
These were the top ten:
Last year, neither Clorox nor Hershey was in the top 100. Instead, the supermarket chain, Wegmans and Amazon were #1 and 2.
These were the top 10:
Where are we going? To reputations and brands.
A Corporate Reputation
In a survey that was taken by 34,026 adults from June 24 to July 6, Axios/Harris used seven criteria to assess reputation. Ranging from trust to ethics to the product itself, this is what they believe defines a reputation:
They concluded that a corporate reputation is especially significant now because a vast majority of us believe companies are more reliable than the federal government:
Our Bottom Line: Why Reputation and Brand Are Different
A brand is a personality that distinguishes a good or a service from all others. It can relate to a taste, a texture, a technology. Businesses need to know the value of their brand. Employees and stockholders care about the profit from a well-managed brand. Investors want brands to create value and consumers use brands to judge what they buy.
A brand’s reputation is somewhat different. We could almost say it is the result of the brand. Embodying the credibility and respect that the brand generates among its constituencies, reputation is about legitimacy. and good will.
A paper from MIT/Sloan suggests that a brand satisfies a promise to consumers. Meanwhile, a reputation is so much more. It can relate to workplace diversity, environmental policies, ethical issues, and innovation. As economists, we can also say that it relates to demand.
Below, I’ve drawn a change in demand. Please note though that my supply curve and the second demand curve are somewhat vertical. My goal was to illustrate some inelasticity because a change in price had a minimal impact on the quantity supplied and demanded. Supply was constrained in the short run while (on the demand side) you and I wanted all of the Clorox we could locate:
Now, in a pandemic world, occupying a reputational sweet spot, Clorox demand has soared.
My sources and more: Thanks to the Axios daily podcast. During just 10 minutes, I get my news briefing. Yesterday, it included the company reputation survey. From there, for more facts, the possibilities multiplied. Businessinsider had an article while Axios reported the 2019 and 2020 results and MIT/Sloan had more analysis.