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A Survey about Firm’s Reputation January 31, 2007

Posted by Brian Mulligan in Consumers.

As I was browsing the Wall Street Journal tonight, I came across an article that pertains how a consumers view companies. A research company named Harris Interactive performed this survey as part of year long research project to find out how people rank large fortune 500 companies. They based their rankings on emotional appeal, social responsibility, vision & leadership, financial performance, products & services and work place environment. This article has a direct connection with our reading for tomorrow’s class in the respect that companies have to build relationships and respect with certain companies. For example, in our text, Ecko Goup is a great example of producing a business-to-business relationship based on professionalism and trust with vital business partners and the beneficial results.

Here is the connection for the article in the journal:


Microsoft topped the list because of the great philanthropy work that Bill Gates has done over the past year. Survey respondent and homemaker said,

“He showed he cared more for people than all the money he made building Microsoft from the ground up. I wish all the other big shots could do something like this.”

Second on the list was J&J because they convey an image of creating baby products and appeal to more soft side of marketing than the usual hard side pharma has.

Those who dropped on the list from the previous year were usually companies that have experienced loss in sales or those involved in corporate scandals. For example, the scandal surrounding top executives at HP hurt their image and caused them to drop on the list.

I feel that this list is a great example of how a consumer perceives a company and shows that the way a company functions has a great impact on how the consumer views a company. In a more complex society, it’s essential to gain control and trust from your inputs such as resources and consumers.  When these become scarce, you need to formulate ways to reduce that complexity and this evident in very complex industries such as computes and pharma. Therefore, establishing a strong reputation with an input will become more necessary.  Additionally, the many corporate scandals that have been popping up in the recent years have tarnished the overall view of corporate America, so the companies that have a clean slate will shine even more. For example, Whole Foods Inc. moved onto the list because they provide healthy, organic foods to an ever growing health crazed consumer.



1. silviamocanu07 - January 31, 2007

The article sounds very interesting and it actually relates to the topic of societal marketing that I am learning about in one of my other classes.
From the reading that I have done, I found out that consumers actually do not base their purchase decisions necessarily on the advertisements of the companies, but, just as it was mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article, the top influence factors consist of emotional appeal and social responsibility.

Companies such as Johnson&Johnson have a high regard from the public opinion, particularly given the fact that when they found out that there was a problem with one of the drugs they were selling, they immediately pulled from the shelves, thus taking full responsibility and correcting the error.

Many companies perhaps would have attempted to evade taking responsibility, such as is the case with Ford and Bridgestone/Firestone, in what concerns the accidents related to tire treading on the Explorer car model. In this particular case, both companies blamed each other, the first claming that the tires were at fault, while the second claiming that the vehicle model was at fault. Ultimately, both companies lost market share to their competitors, Ford to Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers, and Bridgestone/Firestone to Goodyear. The central causeof this was the manner in which they handled the problem, first trying to conceal it from the public and then resorting on blaming the other party.

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