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While a company’s products are arguably the most important factor for success, there’s a sneakier, second attribute that can make or break a brand: reputation.

Brands earn great reputations by garnering trust from consumers. They appeal to customers’ emotions and support good causes. They treat their employees well and consistently make investors happy.

Meanwhile, brands wind up with lousy reputations after making customers, employees and investors feel uneasy. Perhaps their product quality is inconsistent, or they’ve been rumored to employ unethical business practices. Many of these brands still make products people want to buy, but their poor repute means customers and shareholders might leave the first time they find a decent alternative.

Using data from the 2015 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study, FindTheCompany ranked and visualized America’s 10 best and worst companies by reputation.

Harris Poll performed two rounds of surveys. In the first survey, they polled over 4,000 Americans to create a list of America’s 100 most visible companies. Next, they surveyed an additional 27,000 Americans, asking each respondent to rate two companies on the list across six dimensions:

Using data from the 2015 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study, FindTheCompany ranked and visualized America’s 10 best and worst companies by reputation.

In order to gather the data, Harris Poll performed two rounds of surveys. In the first survey, they surveyed over 4,000 Americans in order to create a list of America’s 100 most visible companies. Next, they surveyed an additional 27,000 Americans, asking each respondent to rate two companies on the list across six dimensions:

  • Vision and Leadership
  • Social Responsibility
  • Emotional Appeal
  • Products and Services
  • Workplace Environment
  • Financial Performance

Each company’s reputation was then converted into one overall score on a scale of 0 to 100. Harris Poll provided the following guide for these scores:

Guide to RQ Score:

  • 80 & Above: Excellent
  • 75-79: Very Good
  • 70-74: Good
  • 65-69: Fair
  • 55-64: Poor
  • 50-54: Very Poor
  • Below 50: Critical

Every company on the list was rated by at least 100 respondents, with the average number of responses per company being 300.

We’ll start by counting down the companies with the best reputations in America, then move on to the worst.


Google Inc. (GOOGL) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 80.44
2015 Ranking: 10/100

Though Google’s reputation has fallen slightly over the last five years, the company remains one of America’s top 10 respected brands. The company likely suffers a bit from growing data privacy concerns and fallout from NSA surveillance. Overall, however, customers admire the tech titan’s big-picture ambitions and intuitive products, like Search, Chrome, Android and YouTube.


Apple Inc. (AAPL) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 80.69
2015 Ranking: 9/100

While Apple saw its highest Reputation Quotient the year after Steve Jobs’ death (2012), the company continues to score well across all categories. The massively popular iPhone 6 was by far the best-selling Apple product ever, and investors have heard almost nothing but good news over the last half-dozen quarters. If Apple Music, Apple Pay and the Apple Watch can meet customers’ expectations, Apple will likely remain on this list for years to come.


Publix Super Markets Inc. (PUSH) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 80.73
2015 Ranking: 8/100

For Americans living in the Southeast, Publix is the grocery store of choice, with over 1,000 locations across six states. The Florida-based brand has also grown to become the fourth-largest supermarket chain in America. Famously, the company has never resorted to layoffs to save money, always looking to cut costs through other means—likely a large contributor to its high reputation score.

L.L. Bean

L.L. Bean International | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 80.78
2015 Ranking: 7/100

Founded in Maine in 1912, the clothing and outdoor recreation retailer is an American standard. Between the release of its stylish “signature” line in 2010 and recent demand for the “Bean” boot, L.L. Bean still has a knack for making products customers want to wear, more than 100 years later.


Kraft Foods Group Inc. (KRFT) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 80.83
2015 Ranking: 6/100

The popular grocery store brand has come a long way since it first started making its iconic Macaroni and Cheese. The company now owns a variety of supermarket favorites, from Capri Sun to Jell-O, Oscar Mayer to Kool-Aid. The brand’s growing influence culminated in a merger with Heinz on July 2, 2015. Add to that Kraft’s moves toward social responsibility—including more sustainable packaging providers and decreased use of artificial food dyes—and Kraft’s solid reputation is easy to understand.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 80.88
2015 Ranking: 5/100

The owner of Band-Aid, Tylenol and Neutrogena has relentlessly marketed itself as “a family company,” and the campaign continues to pay off. Americans associate the brand with intimacy, friendliness and quality, which builds trust in each of their family health brands.


Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 81.69
2015 Ranking: 4/100

Now the second-largest retailer in the world (behind Walmart), Costco continues to win customers with rock-bottom pricing on anything from groceries to 4K televisions. While the brand’s reputation has been solid for a decade, the last few years have been particularly kind to the membership-only warehouse club. Its Reputation Quotient has risen by five points in just four years.


Samsung Telecommunications America LLC | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 81.98
2015 Ranking: 3/100

While Samsung’s recent headlines have centered around its wildly popular line of smartphones, the electronics company continues to make critically acclaimed consumer technology across several product lines—from televisions to computer monitors to washing machines. Meanwhile, the recent Galaxy S6 has received some of the company’s best smartphone reviews in years.

Amazon Inc. (AMZN) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 83.72
2015 Ranking: 2/100

Despite Amazon’s checkered history with hardware (see: the Fire Phone), the company remains the single most reliable retailer in the world—an affordable, one-stop-shop for just about any product. And even if some of the company’s gadgets end up flopping, Amazon remains visionary and ambitious. The Echo, an Amazon personal assistant that responds to your voice commands, is just the latest example.


Wegmans Food Markets Inc. | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 84.36
2015 Ranking: 1/100

The mid-Atlantic and New England grocery store chain earns the top spot on the list, with a reputation second to none. Family owned, high quality and admired by its own employees, the company has appeared on many top company lists from publications like Fortune and Consumer Reports.

#91. Bank of America

Bank of America Corporation (BAC) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 60.73
2015 Ranking: 91/100

Americans have been low on banks ever since the 2008 financial crisis, and Bank of America’s reputation has suffered as a result. Throw in the usual bank annoyances—like unexpected fees and confusing account limitations—and BofA squeezes into the bottom 10.

#92. Charter

Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 60.30
2015 Ranking: 92/100

Internet and cable providers fare poorly in reputation surveys, largely because these companies can charge high prices for a service in extremely high demand. The recent Time Warner merger doesn’t help Charter’s reputation either, which simply makes the brand look more corporate, and less human.

#93. Comcast

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 60.04
2015 Ranking: 93/100

The largest Internet and cable provider in America, Comcast performs even worse than Charter when it comes to reputation. The brand’s customer satisfaction scores are typically the worst in the industry, and in many locations, the company doesn’t have to compete with any competitors, as the only Internet provider in town.

#94. Koch Industries

Koch Industries Inc. | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 59.89
2015 Ranking: 94/100

Koch Industries, an oil company turned multinational conglomerate, is something of a caricature to many Americans. The brand empire is run by the famous Koch Brothers, oil barons who often spend hundreds of millions on far-right candidates during presidential elections.

#95. Sears

Sears Holdings Corporation (SHLD) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 59.79
2015 Ranking: 95/100

Compared to food and tech retailers, department stores have had a rough decade, and Sears might be the best overall example. Sales have been shaky since the rise of Amazon, and store loyalty has been on the decline. Unfortunately for Sears, the balance sheet woes seem to be mirrored by reputation declines, as Sears now sits among the six worst American companies by reputation.

#96. Halliburton

Halliburton Company (HAL) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 59.63
2015 Ranking: 96/100

One of the world’s largest oil companies, Halliburton became a household name in the early 2000s, as the company’s former chairman and CEO—Vice President Dick Cheney—received deferred compensation during his term in the White House. Some believe that Halliburton’s oil interests may have even influenced the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq. The company’s reputation has never recovered.

#97. Monsanto

Monsanto Company (MON) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 59.18
2015 Ranking: 97/100

The agrochemical and biotechnology company has become the face of lobbying for many Americans, as the company has spent millions fighting agricultural legislation. Specifically, the company has fought many initiatives that would limit the distribution of genetically engineered produce.

#98. Dish Network

Dish Network Corporation (DISH) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 58.07
2015 Ranking: 98/100

The satellite television and Internet provider is the third and final telecommunications company among the bottom 10, scoring even worse than Charter and Comcast. The company has been skewered for hidden fees, unreliable service and poor employee conditions. In 2012, it was named the worst company in America to work for by 24/7 Wall Street.

#99. AIG

American International Group Inc. (AIG) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 55.23
2015 Ranking: 99/100

AIG combines two factors that make Americans furious. First, it’s an insurance company, which US citizens—unfairly or not—associate with scammy business practices. Second, AIG was among the several giant companies to receive billions from the government after going bankrupt in 2008. Add the two together, and AIG earns the second-worst reputation in America.

#100. Goldman Sachs

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) | FindTheCompany

2015 Reputation Score: 55.07
2015 Ranking: 100/100

The face of the 2008 financial crisis, Goldman Sachs is the only company that makes Americans even angrier than AIG. While it’s unclear which accusations hold weight, Goldman Sachs has been accused of intentionally misleading investors, working with dictators and making backroom deals with the U.S. government. Even if the company has paid Uncle Sam back for its $10 billion in TARP bailout funds, Americans still view the company as a mascot for financial corruption. As a result, Goldman Sachs has the worst reputation in America.

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