Toyota claims most reputable company as Vodafone’s rank slides

Toyota has been crowned the title of New Zealand’s most reputable company, rising after nabbing second place last year to take line honours in this year’s New Zealand Corporate Reputation Index through AMR and the Reputation Institute. Air New Zealand also rated highly coming in as runner up while Vodafone lost esteem in the eyes of the public, dropping eight places in the index this year.

The annual Corporate Reputation Index measures how Kiwis view New Zealand’s top 25 companies across seven reputation drivers, and then ranks them according to people’s overall emotional reaction (adults aged 18-64) using more than 6,000 ratings. The study includes the top 25 companies based on revenue sourced from the 2014 Deloitte Top 200 list.

It is part of a global study conducted each year and uses a method validated by a database of more than three million ratings, a release says.

“Toyota’s consistently strong reputation has seen it ranked in the top two places since 2013. It is also the only company in this year’s survey to achieve an ‘Excellent’ overall reputation score. “Toyota also achieved the highest scores for the individual reputation measurements of Products, Governance, Innovation and Citizenship.”

The Corporate Reputation Index is the country’s longest-running ‘reputation’ study, the release says, which has been held each year since 2011.

Air New Zealand is also still seen as highly reputable amongst New Zealanders, coming in second in this year’s rankings. The national flagship carrier ranked first overall last year, third in 2013 and first in 2011 and 2012.  

Toyota’s performance in the areas of Products, Innovation, Governance and Citizenship have been particularly highly rated by New Zealanders this year, AMR managing director Oliver Freedman says. “To rate so highly across these four measurements established an excellent emotional connection with many New Zealanders, who place great value on innovation, transparency, community involvement and consistently great products,” he says. “Toyota’s strong results in these areas show the importance of having a good reputation across a number of different criteria.”

Freedman says the biggest improvement in this year’s results had been shown by Woolworths, which rose from 23rd in 2014 to rate 9th for its overall reputation in 2015. “Woolworths had what many perceived to be a disastrous year in 2014, which saw allegations of anti-competitive behavior tarnish its reputation.  However, being cleared of any wrong doing, coupled with its ‘Price drop Price lockdown’ campaign has allowed the company’s reputation to significantly recover.”

This demonstrates how much the perception of unethical behavior can damage a corporation’s behaviour, he says. “It also shows that operating with integrity has to be at the core of how a corporation does business not only to improve reputation, but protect it when under scrutiny.”

Fletcher Building also saw a strong improvement in its reputation this year. It climbed five places from 18th in 2014 to rank 13th in the 2015 Index, demonstrating improved perceptions of its openness, transparency and ethics, the release says.

ASB, BNZ and Westpac also improved their overall rankings by four places from last year, while the reputations of Vodafone and Sky Network TV fell. “Vodafone saw its ranking plummet eight places, from 12th in 2014 to 20th this year, following the announcement of potential job losses, and financial losses at the end of 2014 which negatively impacted consumers’ views of the company’s Performance,” the release says.

A similar study is also conducted in Australia, with Toyota also measured as the most reputable company there this year.

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