This week, we take a deep dive into the 2022 Axios Harris Poll 100, our annual ranking of corporate reputations launched exclusively in Axios Mike’s AM yesterday. Based on our Reputation Quotient (RQ) framework run annually since 1999, this year’s rankings are based on a survey of 33,096 Americans in a nationally representative sample fielded from March 11th to April 2nd, 2022.

The two-step process begins by surveying the public’s top-of-mind awareness of companies that either excel or falter in society. These 100 “most visible companies” are then rated by a second group of Americans across the seven key dimensions of reputation to arrive at the ranking. If a company is not on the list, it did not reach a critical level of visibility to be measured.

An overarching theme in the data this year is that as Americans move on from COVID, they are looking at corporate reputation through a more practical lens. Companies delivering on time and keeping their promises despite supply-chain issues are being held in high regard. Businesses that also do their part to create a better world – whether through sustainability or taking a stand on authentic social issues – also are being rewarded.

“The poll reinforces what we have seen on the ground with our local news product Axios Local,” said Jim VandeHei, co-founder and CEO of Axios. “To reestablish trust with a skeptical population, you have to start closer to home, making a real impact within local communities. Consumers reward brands that deliver a trusted product on time and as promised.”

For more information and insights about all things Axios Harris Poll 100, check out the following:

More information including prior year reports can be found on The Axios Harris Poll 100 website.

Friendly Brands Poisoned by Politics

Companies that once seemed immune from partisan backlash are seeing their reputations plunge in response to political drama, showing that companies are increasingly caught between their employees, consumers and politics, as reported by Axios’ Sara Fischer.

  • Disney’s ranking dropped significantly, from 37th last year to 65th this year, likely because of its decision to speak out about Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill after initially opting not to address it. 
  • Meanwhile Delta’s ranking has improved significantly since 2021, along with its trust and culture scores. Last year’s survey was conducted less than two months after the company faced criticism for its slow response and pivots on Georgia’s voting rights bill.
  • Yes, but: There are some notable exceptions. Netflix faced backlash from its employees for failing to address anti-LGTBQ comments made by Dave Chapelle late last year, but it’s score wasn’t impacted.
  • The big picture: Brands with long-held political affiliations, like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, saw their reputation rankings decline.
  • Between the lines: Some brands with strong political positions continue to rank high among consumers because the quality of their products and services outweigh their political values.
  • What to watch: Nearly one-third of Americans say companies should prioritize the views of their customers (31%) and employees (28%) when weighing in on political issues. Less than a quarter (16%) say they should prioritize the views of shareholders.

Takeaway: “It’s back to basics with companies that offer quality products and are guided by steadfast values riding to the top,” said Stagwell Chairman and CEO Mark Penn. “Those that became enmeshed in political quagmires tended to be set back.”

Millennials Drive Remote Work Push

As the country transitions from lockdowns to living with COVID-19, Americans want to retain at least some of the flexibility they’ve had during the pandemic, reports Axios’ Sara Fischer. An overwhelming majority of Americans (77%) whose job can be done remotely say it’s important that their employer allow them to work remotely when they want to.

  • Our survey found that over half (56%) of workers say they are likely to switch to a hybrid or remote job for more work flexibility. 
  • Millennials are the most likely to want a remote option. A whopping 84% of millennials say remote work is important vs. 66% of Gen Z, 75% of Gen X and 68% of Boomers.
  • Those who are already working remotely or in a hybrid model are much more likely to say remote work matters: A vast majority of remote workers (93%) and of hybrid workers (89%) say it’s important vs. only 57% of those who are back in an office.
  • Most Americans (83%) say the pandemic proved many jobs can be done just as effectively remotely as in person.
  • Companies looking to recruit the next generation of talent may need to consider remote work benefits over pay: More than (40%) of workers say they are likely to switch to a more flexible job even if it means taking a pay cut, including more than half (57%) of millennials and roughly half (49%) of Gen Z.

Takeaway: There’s a delicate dance between workers who’ve grown accustomed to the benefits of their home office and employers who’d very much like to bring them back on-premises without driving them away.

Free Speech Debate Targets Big Media

Axios’ Sara Fischer also reports America’s free speech frustration has pivoted from tech companies to media publishers, which shows growing hostility toward publishers, with little recourse for people who think they don’t do enough to guard against bias or misinformation.

  • Why it matters: The lines between publishers, like The Washington Post, and platforms like Twitter where their stories might appear are becoming increasingly blurred — making it harder to be sure exactly who the public is blaming when they don’t like the content.
  • What the data say: A majority of Americans (57%) say publishers are responsible for content that goes against their personal values, not platforms, while only (43%) said platforms were more responsible.
  • While most Americans (58%) say technology companies are promoting free speech rather than hurting it, a major political divide persists: a majority of Democrats (72%) say tech companies promote free speech vs. only (41%) of Republicans.
  • Yes, but when asked who is responsible when content is published on a media platform that goes against their personal values, Democrats are evenly split (49% platform vs. 51% publisher), compared to Republicans (59% publisher vs 41% platform).

Takeaway: Tech firms are still some of the worst-performing companies in the Axios Harris Poll 100. Meta/Facebook ranked 97th of 100 brands, followed by Twitter, which ranked 98th, and TikTok ranked 94th.

Download the Data

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by The Harris Poll from May 20th to 22th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,064 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 20th to 22th, among a nationally representative sample of 2,064 U.S. adults.


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