Regional Grocer Wegmans Unseats Amazon To Claim Top Corporate Reputation Ranking

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1 Press Contact: Corporate Communications The Harris Poll Regional Grocer Wegmans Unseats Amazon To Claim Top Corporate Reputation Ranking Wegmans Food Markets, a Rochester, NY-based grocer with just 85 stores and one-tenth of Amazon's revenues, edged past the online retailer to reach the top spot for corporate reputation among the 100 most visible companies, according to the 16th annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient (RQ) study. Ranking third on the list, Samsung outperformed all other technology companies, surging past Apple and Google, at No. 9 and No. 10 respectively, and achieving a near-reversal in position from 2012 when Apple was No. 1, Google was No. 2 and Samsung ranked 13th in corporate reputation. "Reputation is far from static and is a business asset that is earned every day as people evaluate companies through the lens of what matters most to them. Wegmans has spent years building a sterling reputation in the communities they serve, through its employees, one shopping experience at a time," says Carol M. Gstalder, Reputation & Public Relations Practice Leader for Harris Poll. "Samsung has steadily climbed up the ranks in recent years with consumers rating it among the 5 best on key reputational dimensions of products and services, emotional appeal, financial performance and vision and leadership. Apple's performance, while still excellent, has fallen 5 points since 2012." Harris Poll expanded the list to 100 companies this year, up from 60, to offer deeper insight by industry. As a result, three of the top 10 companies are debuting on the list, including No. 1 Wegmans, No. 7 L.L. Bean and No. 8 Publix Supermarkets. "Expanding the study allows companies to see how they stack up within their industry as well as compared to best in class reputations across industries," says Gstalder. The reputations of the 100 most visible companies range from excellent (scores of 80+) to poor (scores of 50 to 64). A total of 12 companies earned excellent scores, including the rest of the top 10 with Costco at No. 4, up from No. 6 in 2014, and No. 5 Johnson & Johnson and No. 6 Kraft, both moving back into the top tier after falling out of it in 2014 and 2013 respectively. Conversely, a total of 16 companies earn a "poor" reputation score, starting with Time Warner at No. 85 and down to Goldman Sachs at No JC Penney showed the strongest improvement in the past year as its turnaround strategy gains traction. The Coca-Cola Company, Honda, Hyundai and General Motors experienced the largest declines. Unprecedented automotive recalls explain the reputation hits suffered by General Motors, Honda and Hyundai. Coca-Cola, whose reputation score is in the "very good" range, fell 6.8 points this year, largely due to public perceptions of its products and declining intent to purchase. Opinion Elites Still Smiling About Coca-Cola In another new feature, Harris Poll had each company rated by 100 Opinion Elites, a sub-segment of the main survey respondents who are more informed, engaged, and likely to act based on corporate conduct and other reputation factors. "Companies are particularly eager to engage these stakeholders because they tend to influence the general public's opinion," explains Gstalder. Opinion Elites and the general public rate many of the same companies in the top 10 for reputation. Opinion Elites also place Wegmans at No. 1 and Amazon at No. 2, then move L.L. Bean to No. 3, Johnson & Johnson to No. 4, Samsung to No. 6, Apple to No. 7, and Publix Supermarkets to No. 10. Filling out the top 10, Opinion Elites rank The Walt Disney Company No. 5

2 (compared to No. 12 by the general public), Berkshire Hathaway No. 8 (compared to No. 11 by the general public) and Coca- Cola is No. 9. Unlike the general public, the Opinion Elite RQ score for Coca-Cola is excellent, with strongest performance on the reputation dimension of vision and leadership. "The American public strongly believes reputation matters and acts on that belief. This year's results show that more than half of the public actively seeks out information about companies they hear about or do business with, and 36% say they've decided against doing business with a company because of something they learned about its conduct," explains Gstalder. "Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing expectations consumers have when it comes to corporate reputation, specifically what they think, say and do, as well as how best to engage with them." A complete ranking of the RQ's 100 most visible companies can be found in the 16th Annual RQ Summary Report. Reputation Quotient Methodology The annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study was conducted online, in English, among 27,278 U.S. respondents from October 20-December 18, 2014, with preliminary nominating waves of research conducted with 4,034 respondents across August 26-28, 2014 and September 24-26, The Annual RQ study begins with a Nomination Phase which is used to identify the companies with the most "visible" reputations. All respondents are asked, unaided, to name companies that stand out as having the best and worst reputations. Online nominations are summed to create a total number of nominations for each company. The final list of the 100 most visible companies in the U.S. is measured in the RQ Ratings Phase. In the ratings phase, respondents are randomly assigned to rate two of the companies with which they are "very" or "somewhat" familiar. After the first company rating is completed, the respondent is given the option to rate the second company. Companies are rated on their reputation on 20 different attributes that comprise the Reputation Quotient instrument. The attributes are grouped into six different reputation dimensions: Emotional Appeal, Financial Performance, Products & Services, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership and Workplace Environment. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll and sample partner surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in an online panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. All third party trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Use of such trademarks does not constitute or imply any sponsorship or endorsement. Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study results disclosed in this press release may not be used for advertising, marketing or promotional purposes without the prior written consent of Harris Poll RQ RANK RQ Score 1 Wegmans Food Markets* Amazon.com Samsung Costco Johnson & Johnson Kraft Foods L.L. Bean* 80.78

3 8 Publix Supermarkets* Apple Google Berkshire Hathaway* The Walt Disney Company Sony CVS (CVS Health)* Microsoft Lowe's Kellogg Company* Chick-Fil-A The Boeing Company* Intel Corporation* Whole Foods Market USAA LG Corporation* Procter & Gamble Co Nike Unilever* Whirlpool Corporation* General Mills* Honda Motor Company Nestle* Starbucks Corporation The Kroger Company* Wendy's* The Coca-Cola Company Fidelity Investments* PepsiCo FedEx Corporation* 75.53

4 38 The Home Depot Meijer's* IBM Hewlett-Packard Company Kohl's ebay* Aldi* General Electric Southwest Airlines Nordstrom Ford Motor Company Toyota Motor Corporation Progressive Corporation* State Farm Insurance* Macy's DuPont* Walgreens* American Express* YUM! Brands* Nissan Motor Corporation* Hobby Lobby* Best Buy Dell JCPenney The Allstate Corporation Target Hyundai Motor Company st Century Fox* Verizon Communications Safeway* 69.70

5 68 Blue Cross Blue Shield* Unites States Postal Service* Royal Dutch Shell McDonald's Sprint Corporation Altria Group* Wells Fargo & Company T-Mobile AT&T Facebook Chevron* Delta Air Lines* Burger King* Chrysler Corporation ExxonMobil DirecTV* Walmart Time Warner United Airlines* JPMorgan Chase & Co General Motors Citigroup BP Bank of America Charter Communications* Comcast Koch Industries* Sears Holdings Corporation Halliburton Monsanto 59.18

6 98 Dish Network AIG Goldman Sachs * New to Most Visible List this year (not in 60 Most Visible 2014) Guide to RQ Scores: 80 & above: Excellent 75-79: Very Good 70-74: Good 65-69: Fair 55-64: Poor 50-54: Very Poor Below 50: Critical About The Harris Poll Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

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