The Reputations Of The Most Visible Companies

Since 1999, Reputation Quotient has quantified the reputation ratings for the 100 most visible companies.

2018 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient® Rankings

Top Companies by Corporate Reputation Dimension

Download 2018 Rankings here…  

Hard Data. Human Truths.

What is RQ®?

An Active Measurement of Visibility and Integrity

While other models measure reputation in a vacuum, RQ is technically designed to understand how a company is perceived in modern culture. Each year our study starts fresh in surveying the public’s top of mind awareness of companies who either excelled or faltered in society. This measure takes the top most visible companies (for good or bad reasons) and evaluates them across six dimensions of corporate reputation attributes to arrive at a corporate reputation ranking. If a company is not on our list, it does not necessarily suggest that they have either good or bad reputation, but rather they didn’t reach a critical level of visibility to be measured.

That Translates Reputation Into True Business Value

More than ever before, the American public has more insight and engagement with the companies they do business with. This exposure can have polarizing effects that can compel business leaders to take public stands on issues important to their stakeholders.  A company’s reputation is foundational.  With a solid reputation, a company is more likely to attract top talent, be seen as an attractive investment, and be seen as a responsible member of the community. Alternatively, companies with a challenging reputation must work harder to achieve their business goals as stakeholders are more resistant to their growth.

Six Dimensions of Corporate Reputation

Since 1999, Harris Poll Reputation Quotient research has evaluated public perceptions across 20 attributes, classified into six dimensions of corporate reputation. This allows for the ability to reliably trend performance over time and identify industry and company specific drivers of corporate reputation.

What Questions Can Reputation Quotient Help Answer?

  • How can we do reputation research quickly and cost-effectively?
  • How can we quickly prioritize reputation opportunities?
  • Can we be more vocal about CSR issues? Are we getting credit for the ones we’re already talking about?
  • How can we tell what is really resonating in the media?
  • How can we improve our image with the general public?
  • How can we benchmark our current reputation to build a stronger communications narrative?


Nominations Phase

The Annual RQ study begins with a Nomination Phase which is used to identify the companies with the most “visible” reputations according to the General Public. All respondents are asked to name companies that stand out as having the best and worst reputations overall. Two open-end questions are used:

• Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO – in your opinion – stand out as having the BEST reputations overall?
• Of all the companies that you’re familiar with or that you might have heard about, which TWO – in your opinion – stand out as having the WORST reputations overall?

Nominations from all interviews are tallied with subsidiaries and brand names collapsed within the parent company. 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 Section.

The Nominations Phase of the study was conducted among 4,244 U.S, adults across two intervals, from Oct 9th – 11th, 2017 and Oct 26th – 30th, 2017.

Ratings Phase

The RQ Ratings phase survey is conducted online in English and takes place among the general public, adults 18+. 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. Each interview lasts approximately 20 minutes. This year’s rating interviews took place online between December 11th and January 12th, 2018 among 25,800 U.S. adults to obtain an average of approximately 300 ratings per company. An RQ score is developed for each company, calculated by:   [ (Sum of ratings of each of the 20 attributes)/(the total number of attributes answered x 7) ]  x 100.   The maximum RQ score is 100.    RQ performance ranges are as follows:  80 & above: Excellent | 75-79: Very Good | 70-74: Good | 65-69: Fair | 55-64: Poor | 50-54: Very Poor | Below 50: Critical

Prior Year Reports

In 2015, we expanded from 60 to 100 Most Visible Companies, enabling us to include far more companies, industries, and regional players than ever before.