Air NZ reputation flies highest despite travel restrictions

Despite COVID-19 decimating international travel, Air New Zealand’s resilient reputation has landed it on top of Colmar Brunton’s Corporate Reputation Index 2021 for the seventh year running.

The Head of Colmar Brunton, Sarah Bolger, says: “The airline has built up a bank of goodwill that has been drawn down on during the COVID pandemic. After a challenging year it still retains its reputational lead by a small margin, signalling just how resilient the airline is.” 

Sarah Bolger, Head of Colmar Brunton

The Corporate Reputation Index, a partnership with Wright Communications, uses the global RepZ framework created by Colmar Brunton’s parent company Kantar, with standardised reputation attributes with fieldwork in February and March 2021.

Bolger says: “Air New Zealand’s RepZ score has come down from 116 last year to 109, but it is still in the resilient zone.

“New Zealanders still feel safe with Air New Zealand and that the airline represents the country well.”

Air New Zealand ranks first among New Zealand top 50 companies for Responsibility, Trust and Leadership, three of the four RepZ reputation attributes.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says: “I genuinely believe our people are our competitive advantage, and we’ve absolutely got the best team in the business.”

Wright Communications’ Managing Director Nikki Wright says: “Media coverage, good or bad, is the most influential factor on the reputations of corporate brands with limited public interface.

“Companies which do the right things by the public and tell their stories well have resilience that enables them to ride out occasional setbacks and bad news.”

Pak’n Save has risen back to second place in the rankings, swapping places with TVNZ, which is a close third. Pak’n Save ranks top for the RepZ Fairness attribute.

Meanwhile Toyota is consistent sitting at number four for the last three years in a row. Toyota New Zealand supported small businesses through the 2020 lockdown by providing 100 Toyota Highlander vehicles to small business owners for one year and continuing its sponsorship of Emirates Team New Zealand in its successful bid for the America’s Cup.

AA Insurance also performs consistently in the top five. The initiatives the brand put in place in response to COVID-19, including a hardship fund, premium freezes and premium rebates generated a great deal of positive feedback from customers. 

Other brands in the top 10 are Fisher & Paykel, New World, Bunnings, Kiwibank, and Countdown.

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