Toyota takes top spot in Kantar Corporate Reputation Index, Air NZ drops to No. 3

Every year, the research company Kantar, in collaboration with Wright Communications, releases the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index. For the first time, Toyota NZ has made the top spot.

For the first time in 10 years, there is a new winner at the top of the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index, Toyota New Zealand.

The first nine years of the list placed Air New Zealand at the very top but our national airline has fallen to third place in 2024.

Every year, Kantar and Wright Communications compile an annual list that looks at the trust, leadership, fairness and responsibility of a company based on a survey that rates public perceptions of the top 50 New Zealand consumer facing corporates and other qualifiers.

Toyota New Zealand scored 111 in the index, followed by Pak’nSave at 110 (who were previously third in 2023) and Air New Zealand at 108.

Mitre 10 came in second last year and scored 108, putting it in the fourth spot in 2024.

Kantar Insights Chief Client Officer Sarah Bolger says Toyota was able to take the top spot for the rebrand of their advertising slogan “let’s go places”. Since 2022, Toyota’s trust and fairness pillars have seen an upward trajectory and with its high score in leadership and success, the car company was able to break Air NZ’s nine-year-long streak at the top.

“Trust is the biggest driver of reputation, followed by Leadership. Toyota topped the Trust pillar just ahead of Air New Zealand with both on 113 for that attribute,” adds Bolger.

“Toyota has won an underlying sense of trust from New Zealanders. People see it as a brand that will see them right, plus it has a voice on important global issues. When times are tough, leaders with vision navigate adversity rather than respond to it. Our research shows people trust leaders who show powerful, innovative, transformative leadership rather than transactional leadership.”

CEO of Toyota New Zealand Neeraj Lala says the company’s dedication to maintaining local ownership and serving the community has resonated with Kiwis to be able to earn their trust.

“This recognition is a testament to our focus on customer service excellence, ensuring mobility for all, and supporting the communities we operate in,” adds Lala.

Coming in second is Foodstuffs’ Pak’nSave. Bolger says that New Zealand is living an economically challenging time, and grocery giants like themselves are constantly criticised, but their rating has been a reflection of their focus on the customer.

“Our policy is New Zealand’s lowest food prices and with high-cost inflation and weather disasters that’s been a challenge. We never stop looking for ways we can keep costs down so we can pass on savings. With the cost-of-living crisis and inflation biting into every aspect of our lives, the last few years have been hugely challenging for all New Zealanders,” says Foodstuffs New Zealand Managing Director Chris Quin.

The Kantar Corporate Reputation Index is a benchmark for understanding and evaluating the reputational strength and weaknesses of New Zealand companies.

“Corporate reputation has never been more important or more challenging. We have seen issues that have tested the resilience and integrity of corporations globally. From data breaches and privacy concerns to environmental accountability, from ethical labour practices to the rapid evolution of technology and AI ethics, the landscape of corporate reputation is continually evolving,” says Bolger.

Kantar Corporate Reputation 2024 ranking:

  1. Toyota +3
  2. Pak’nSave +1
  3. Air New Zealand -2
  4. Mitre 10 -2
  5. Bunnings +1
  6. AA Insurance +1
  7. Lotto +5
  8. TVNZ -3
  9. Kmart +10
  10. New World +4
  11. NZ Post +2
  12. Samsung -4
  13. Southern Cross -4
  14. The Warehouse -4
  15. Zespri +5
  16. Mainfreight -1
  17. Fisher & Paykel Healthcare NC
  18. Watties +6
  19. 2degrees +3
  20. Kiwibank -4

*RepZ scores of 105 or more indicate a resilient reputation

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