Woolworths has seen the biggest fall in corporate reputation, according to an annual survey, which collates insight from consumers and measures how Australians feel about each company.
Results of the 2016 Corporate Reputation Index show the supermarket giant fell from 17th overall place in 2015 to rank 40th in 2016.
The annual global list is compiled by AMR, part of STW Communications Group.
AMR’s managing director Oliver Freedman says the change could be attributed to public awareness of financial issues, including the future of the Masters brand, teamed with ongoing public discussion about whether it was losing the battle against Coles and Aldi.
“Woolworths has really struggled in the individual measurements of leadership and financial performance in particular this year,” Freedman says.
“In the past its overall financial performance helped maintain a strong reputation. But once this started to decline, there was not enough reputational capital to avoid a very large loss of trust among the Australian public.”
News Corp and Fairfax were at the bottom of the list, falling below the Australian Tax Office, showing the damaged reputation of publishers in Australia.
JB Hi-Fi, Toyota and Samsung top the list of companies with the strongest corporate reputation.
JB Hi-Fi ranked highest among the 60 companies measured, climbing from third in 2015. It is the second time in three years it has taken line honours in the Index. It previously ranked first in 2014.
Freedman says the research shows Australian customers felt JB Hi-Fi treated its employees well and rated its products and services highly.
“Being a responsibly run company that is open and transparent and treats its employees well is also vitally important to Australians when it comes to overall reputation,” he says.
One of the companies to show strong improvement over recent years is Qantas, jumping five places to rank fourth overall this year.
“Qantas has clearly worked hard to regain trust following its shutdown and other industrial issues which saw the carrier face what we call a ‘reputational crisis,” Freedman says.
See report below.
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