Retail Brands With the Best and Worst Reputations

Amazon, Apple, Costco, Disney, All Consumer Ranked Best Retail Reputations

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Which retailing companies have the best and worst reputation with U.S. consumers? And more importantly, how can something as intangible as “reputation” be measured?  Today’s empowered consumers have an informed opinion about that, and they’re happy to identify the best and worst of American retailing.  

Each year market research firm Harris Interactive takes on the task of identifying the companies from all industries that have good and bad reputations in the opinion of American consumers.

In 2015, more than 24,000 consumers were surveyed in a two-step process in order to quantify and rank something as unquantifiable as Brand Reputation.

The first step of the Harris Interactive Brand Reputation consumer opinion survey was to identify the "most visible" companies, which were the companies. These were the companies that were top of mind for consumers when they were asked to identify two companies with the best reputation and two companies with the worst reputation. After compiling those consumer responses, the 60 companies which were mentioned most often were given a “visible company” designation, and they were then included in the second part of the survey.

The second part of this Brand Reputation survey was the “rating phase.” During the rating phase, consumers were asked to rate "reputation attributes" for a maximum of two companies which they were either "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar" with.

Harris Interactive determined that the sum total of twenty attributes determine whether a company has a good or bad reputation. Those twenty attributes from six different categories were:

1) Social Responsibility

  • Supports good causes
  • Environmental Responsibility
  • Community Responsibility

2) Emotional Appeal

  • Feel good about
  • Admire and Respect
  • Trust

3) Products & Services

  • High quality
  • Innovative
  • Value for the money
  • Stands behind

4) Workplace Environment

  • Rewards employees fairly
  • Good place to work
  • Good employees

5) Financial Performance

  • Outperforms competitors
  • Record of profitability
  • Low-risk investment
  • Growth prospects

6) Vision & Leadership

  • Market opportunities
  • Excellent leadership
  • Clear vision for the future

The resulting aggregate of consumer ratings are called the Reputation Quotient (RQ) and the final ranking list reflects those RQ scores from highest to lowest.

What follows is the complete list of retailing companies that were ranked in the top 20 of Best Retail Brand Reputations in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011. This list is arranged alphabetically according to the company name. The numbers after each year are the Brand Reputation ranking that the company received in that year when compared to the reputation rankings of 100 companies from all industries.

Retailing Companies with the Best Brand Reputations 2015 -  2011

Aldi
2015 - #44

Amazon.com

2015 - #2
2014 - #1
2013 - #1
2012 - #4
2011 - #8

Apple

2015 - #9
2014 - #3
2013 - #2
2012 - #1
2011 - #5

Best Buy
2015 - #59


Chick-Fil-A

2015 - #18
2014 - #20

Costco

2015 - #4
2014 - #6
2013 - #10
2012 - #19
2011 - #20

CVS Pharmacy
2015 - #14

Dell
2015 - #60

Disney

2015 - #12
2014 - #4
2013 - #3
2012 - #6
2011 - #10

eBay
#43


Fedex
2015 - #37


Ford
2015 - #48
2013 - #20

Google

2015 - #10
2014 - #14
2013 - #4
2012 - #2
2011 - #1

Hobby Lobby
2015 - #48

Home Depot

2015 - #38
2014 - #17
2013 - #16
2012 - #14

Honda

2015 - #29
2014 - #5
2012 - #12
2011 - #18

Hyundai Motor Company
2015 - #64


Kohl’s

2015 - #42
2014 - #19
2012 - #16

Kroger
2015 - #32


L.L. Bean
2015 - #7


Lowe’s
2015 - #16
2013 - #17

Macy's
2015 #52

Meijer
2015 - #39

Microsoft
2015 - #15
2014 - #9
2013 - #15
2012 - #9
2011 - #16

Nike

2015 - #25
2014 - #15
2013 - #14
2012 - #20

Nissan
2015 - #57


Nordstrom
2015 - #47

Publix Supermarkets
2015 - #8


Safeway
2015 - #67


Samsung

2014 - #7
2013 - #11
2012 - #13

Starbucks
2015 - #31

Target
2015 - #63


Toyota
2015 - #49
2013 - #19

Walgreens
2015 - #54

Wegmans Food Markets 
2015 - #1

Wendy's
2015 - 33


Whole Foods

2015 - #21
2014 - #8
2013 - #7
2012 - #8
2011 - #17

YUM Brands
2015 - #56

If there is such a thing as Retail Brands with the Best Reputation, then there must also be a corresponding Retail Brands with the Worst Reputation list as well. Each year when Harris Interactive conducts its U.S. consumer opinion survey focused on the reputation of all companies in all industries, the companies with bad reputations are easily identified when consumer opinion about them is compared with the companies that have a good reputation with customers and potential customers.

Click here for information about Best and Worst Brand Reputation survey methodology >>

What follows is a complete list of the retailing companies that were ranked as having the worst reputation when ratings from consumers were compiled in surveys between the years of 2015 and 2011. This list is arranged alphabetically according to the name of the company. The numbers next to each year is the ranking that the company reputation received in that year when compared to the reputation of a total of 60 companies from all industries.​

Retailing Companies with the Worst Brand Reputation 2015 -  2011

AT&T

2015 - #76
2012 - #45
2011 - #41

Best Buy
2013 - #41

BP
2015 #90

2014 - #59
2013 - #54
2012 - #57
2011 - #59

Burger King
2015 - #80

Chevron
2015 - #78

2012 - #46

Chrysler

2015 - #81
2014 - #46
2013 - #50
2012 - #50
2011 - #56

ExxonMobil
2015 - #83

2
014 - #47
2013 - #45
2012 - #51
2011 - #53

Facebook
2015 - #77


General Motors
2015 - #88

2014 - #42
2013 - #44
2012 - #44
2011 - #54

jcpenney

2015 - #61
2014 - #48

McDonald’s

2015 - #71
2014 - #43

Netflix
2012 - #42

Sears
2015 - #95
2014 - #53
2013 - #46
2012 - #47

Shell
2011 - #46

Sprint
2015 - #72

T-Mobile
2015 - #75
2014 - #41
2013 - #43
2012 - #49

Toyota
2011 - #43

Verizon
2015 - 
#66
2012 - #40

Walmart2015 - #84
2014 - #44
2013 - #40
2012 - #41
2011 - #40