TECH companies Google, Microsoft and Apple, all of whom have significant Irish operations, have scored in the global top 15 for their corporate reputations.
BMW topped the reputation ranking, followed by Walt Disney and Rolex. Sony topped the Asian companies considered.
Irish advisers Corporate Reputations – whose parent company released the world's largest study of corporate reputations yesterday – says reputation management is now an imperative for companies.
It conducted more than 55,000 interviews with consumers on what drives trust and support and how the world's 100 most-regarded companies are living up to expectations, across 15 countries including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US.
The study found that companies lost up to a third of their reputation in foreign markets.
Irish-specific results will be released next week; last year's top spot went to Google. However the effect of the news that six EU countries, including Germany and the UK, will consider penalising the internet behemoth for "high-risk" privacy issues found last year remains to be seen.
Apple, Cadbury, Kerry Group, Easons and Arnotts all scored highly. Banks, unsurprisingly, fared terribly last year, but the lowest reputation ratings went to insurers Quinn Group and cigarette maker John Player & Sons.
The study measured over 100 of the most highly regarded companies in Ireland across 20 industries.
Corporate Reputations managing director Niamh Boyle says: "The general public is as much concerned about the companies that stand behind the products and services they purchase as the products themselves.
"Organisations that realise this reap the business benefits. Improving your firm's reputation score by 10 points leads to increasing recommendations from the public by 12pc."
The consultancy also ranks cities and countries in terms of their reputation. Dublin's reputation slid again last year, falling to only the 30th most reputable major city in the world, while Ireland as a whole was ranked 15th internationally.