A Business with a Healthy Reputation Runs Better; Just Ask Google

Google’s share price is well off it’s 52-week high. In fact, the company’s shares are down nearly one percent today alone.

But as reputation communications specialists, we know that financial performance is only one measure of an organization’s overall reputation.

So despite the recent uneven performance of Google’s stock price, the company’s corporate reputation is as strong as ever.  And is, actually, number one among “visible”  companies in the Annual Harris Interactive Reputation Quotient Survey released earlier this week.

The survey, the 12th annual, considers the 60 most “visible” companies (companies that are dominant in their respective industries) and polled just over 30,000 people.

The survey is comprehensive from the perspective that it looks at the range of corporate assets that influence reputation.  Products and services, workplace environment, vision and leadership, social responsibility, emotional appeal and, of course, financial performance all are reviewed.

Google performed well across the board with a total score of 84.05, which Harris describes as “excellent.”

Other top performers include Johnson & Johnson, which also finished in the “excellent” category but is at risk of becoming the proverbial bridesmaid given its second place finish for a consecutive year.  3M finished third and Berkshire Hathaway, which finished first last year, slots in at the fourth spot despite its recent challenges.

Where’s Apple?  Not to worry Apple junkies.  Apple jumped seven spots this year, finishing in the coveted fifth spot.

While Goldman Sachs may be enjoying a stock price near its 52-week high, its overall corporate reputation has a long way to go to get to respectable.  We know we’re judged by the company we keep, and according to the survey, financial companies and oil companies are spending a lot of time together these days.   Goldman Sachs, BP and AIG are hanging out together at the bottom of the Harris list.

As the survey results demonstrate, reputation influences every aspect of an organization, from business partnerships to community involvement to sales to recruiting and retaining employees. A business with a healthy reputation runs better. Communications with employees, customers, investors, business partners, media and other key stakeholders become seamless. You’re positioned for whatever comes your way, in good times and in bad.

Take a look at the top five in the Harris survey. There, you won’t find any surprises.

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