Sunday 18 February 2018

Home-grown names top rankings of 2017's 'most trusted' firms

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, and Niamh Boyle, managing director of The Reputations Agency. Photo: Conor Healy
David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, and Niamh Boyle, managing director of The Reputations Agency. Photo: Conor Healy
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

An Post, Kerry Group and Bord Bia topped the Ireland RepTrak 2017 study of the most highly regarded organisations in Ireland.

Aldi, Lidl, Google, Boots, Tourism Ireland, Aer Lingus, and SuperValu made up the remaining top 10 positions.

The results are based on the perceptions of more than 4,500 respondents who completed The Reputations Agency survey in the first three months of 2017.

The survey quantifies the emotional bond stakeholders have with 50 leading companies, and how these connections drive supportive behaviour such as a willingness to buy a company's products, recommend the brand, invest, welcome into their community or even work for them.

Companies ranked as the least well regarded were Irish Water - no surprise given the bitter row over the establishment of the agency - followed by Bank of Ireland and AIB.

Overall, the public feel more positive about firms this year than last year, when 27pc of firms' reputations significantly declined.

The companies which recorded the largest improvements from 2016 were Eir, Kerry Group, Apple, AIB, and Irish Distillers.

When looking at industry reputations, the food and beverage sector remains the most highly regarded, while the financial services sector is the weakest with an 18-point difference in reputation scores across sectors.

The research shows that reputation substantially drives business results.

"From this year's study, we can see that consumers in Ireland are 10 times more likely to purchase a product or service from a company and seven times more likely to work for a company with an excellent reputation than a company with a poor reputation," Niamh Boyle, managing director at The Reputations Agency, said.

The study also highlighted that, while products and service has the largest impact on corporate reputation, corporate governance has increased in significance to a weighting of 18.4pc in 2017 from 16.3pc in 2016.

Perceptions of corporate citizenship also increased to a weighting of 15.8pc from 14.7pc in 2016.

These are followed in importance by perceptions of an organisations leadership, with a weighing of 13.2pc, workplace which scored 11.3pc, innovation which also scored at 11.3pc, and performance which recorded a 10pc weighting.

"The results show us that people wish to be treated with authenticity, transparency, decency and fairness by the companies they are spending their money with," Ms Boyle said.

"So much is invested by companies in promoting their products & services, when in fact what people really want to know about is the company behind these products," she said.

"Companies need to invest far more in telling their corporate story in order to build a stronger emotional bond with the public and move the large proportion of fence sitters who really don't understand the company, to become positive supporters of the company,."

Companies in the survey were ranked on a score from 0 to 100 that measured trust, esteem, admiration, and positive feeling towards the companies.

They were grouped as excellent (80+), strong (70-79), average (60-69), weak (40-59) or poor (below 40).

Irish Independent

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