America This Week: The 2024 Axios Harris Poll 100 Corporate Reputation Survey

Inflation Boils Over Into Reputational Declines Across American Companies.

Runaway prices, hidden fees, passing along higher costs with poorer quality. Americans have had it, and they’re taking it out on company reputations.

That’s the headline from this morning’s launch of our annual Axios Harris Poll 100 corporate reputation survey featured in Mike’s Axios AM Newsletter.

This year, we find a systemic loss in corporate reputation as a public backlash to unethical handling of inflation, creating higher prices and poorer value for the stretched American consumer.

By the numbers: Seven in ten firms (71%), or 63 of the 89 companies who made the Most Visible list this year and last, see a decline of half a point (0.5) or more. Only 15 companies (17%) saw an improvement of 0.5+ points.

Zoom out: The average score of the 100 companies this year is at its lowest since the pandemic, at 72.8, down from 74.1 last year and 74.2 in 2022.

These declines are felt across sectors and systemic in corporate America: By a 3-to-1 margin where the overall opinion of companies was declining (44%) rather than improving (12% v. staying the same: 44%).

Inflation spurs a public backlash: (87%) of Americans say the prices of goods and services have increased in the last year, but (80%) also say companies often sell lower-quality products and services while charging higher prices.

Pocketing the profits: (72%) believe companies are taking advantage of inflation to increase their profit margins rather than being fair and transparent with their prices.

Better inflation ethics could improve perceptions: Americans believe companies should be focused most on keeping prices fair during inflation (53%), improving product quality, safety, and consumer satisfaction (48%), and paying good wages/promoting economic growth through job creation (48%) rather than ESG (23%), AI investment (13%), and taking proactive stances on societal or culture issues (11%).

The message this year is clear. Consumers want allies from brands and the companies they do business with. If not, they’ll walk away. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans told us they’ve recently stopped doing business with a company because of unreasonably high prices, and (59%) have gone elsewhere due to falling quality.

The Axios Harris Poll 100 Rankings

In this year’s Axios Harris Poll 100, as featured in Mike Allen’s Axios AM Newsletter, we find it’s more challenging than ever to score an excellent reputation, with only two companies – Nvidia and 3M – achieving RQ scores above 80, the lowest number in a decade.

  • Winners: Software company Nvidia – new to the Most Visible List – took the No. 1 overall ranking across the seven dimensions, earning an RQ score of 81.2. 3M, Fidelity Investments (crypto, ETFs), Sony, and Adidas rounded out the top five.
  • The losers: Social media companies continue to round out the lowest spots, with ranks of #90 Reddit, #95 TikTok, #97 Meta, and #99 X, with Fox, Spirit Airlines, and the Trump Organization rounding out the bottom five.

View the full interactive ranking of all companies here

Price Increases Take A Bite Out Of Companies’ Reputation

The public’s dissatisfaction with inflation is boiling over — and some of the biggest consumer brands in the country are feeling the heat, reports Axios’ Nathan Bomey.

  • Why it matters: Record price increases have ebbed, but the aftershocks are still reverberating.
  • The big picture: Companies such as Walmart, Macy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Costco, Kraft Heinz, Kohl’s, Nike, and Kroger registered a decline in their Reputation Quotient score in the Axios Harris Poll 100 from 2023 to 2024.
  • Zoom in: Trust scores fell by 3.8 percentage points for clothing companies3.2 points for quick-service restaurants2.9 points for big-box stores, and 2.2 points for grocers.
  • Yes, but resilient consumers have not meaningfully punished retailers for price increases, noting that companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have passed along higher costs with little blowback.

Takeaway: Americans fatigued by inflation and cultural controversies “are more picky this year and holding companies to account,” said John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. And where consumers see price hikes for everyday items, we see declining trust in industries caught in the inflation backlash.

Companies Ride A Red Wave Ahead Of Election

Traditionally conservative-leaning brands saw sizable gains in corporate reputation thanks to growing trust from independents and some Democrats, according to new rankings from the annual Axios/Harris Poll 100, Axios’ Margaret Talev and Sara Fischer report.

  • Why it matters: Corporate reputations declined overall to their lowest level since before COVID, with only 15 companies improving more than a half-point in their overall reputation score this year.
  • Yet, of those 15 companies, several are rooted in conservative-leaning values, including Hobby Lobby (+8 points in Trust among Democrats), The Trump Organization (+12.4 points in Trust among Independents), and Fox.
  • More Independents and Democrats this year even said Fox Corporation and Hobby Lobby share their values.
  • Reality check: Not all conservative-leaning companies are riding the red wave. Exxon’s reputation ranking fell six points year over year, and Dollar Tree’s fell 2.8 points year over year.

Takeaway: “Attitudes towards companies and their role in society seem to be moving to the center, which could determine the election outcome,” said Gerzema. “Many independents, and even some Democrats in this year’s survey are drifting rightward, which accounts for the boost in reputations of many of the more traditional or conservatively-leaning companies.”

Every year since 1999, we have asked Americans their opinions on corporate reputation through our RQ® (Reputation Quotient) methodology. The 2024 Axios Harris Poll 100 is based on a survey of nearly 25,000 Americans in a nationally representative sample from January through March. The two-step process starts fresh each year by surveying the public’s top-of-mind awareness of companies that either excel or falter. To arrive at the ranking, these 100 “most visible companies” are then ranked by a second group of Americans across the seven key dimensions of reputation – citizenship, ethics, culture, trust, products & services, vision, and growth. If a company is not on the list, it did not reach a critical level of visibility to be measured. In-depth analyses of a company’s reputation can be accessed here

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 17th to 19th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,134 U.S. adults.

John Gerzema headshot

John Gerzema


Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 17th to 19th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,134 U.S. adults.


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