Reputation Institute (Ri), the global leader in reputation intelligence, today announced the 2019 UK RepTrak® rankings. Lego tops the ranking with the best reputation in the UK, closely followed by PayPal and Samsung.
LEGO returns to the top spot, a position it last held in 2016. Family-owned Warbutons is the only UK business in the Top 10. Technology firms PayPal and Netflix both made significant improvements to enter the Top 10 for the first time.
This year’s top 10 companies with the best reputations in the UK are:
“LEGO is the UK’s most reputable business of 2019,” said Laurence Stellings, Director at Reputation Institute. “The Danish company continues to deliver on its original purpose to ‘Inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow.’ Through partnerships with some of the world’s largest entertainment brands – including Star Wars, Harry Potter and Disney – and a commitment to introduce sustainable, plant-based plastics, the company is on top of its game.”
The reputation of businesses in the UK is improving. For example, twice as many companies are rated as having an excellent reputation this year vs. 2018. Data analysis shows these improved reputations are driven by better performance on corporate citizenship and good governance. UK businesses are doing a better job of communicating their values, concern for the environment, and the benefits they deliver to local communities.
“We see a real diversity in the UK’s most reputable businesses. Analysis of the UK’s Top 40 – all those with excellent reputations – operate across ten different sectors, headquartered across Europe, Asia and the Americas, and to have diverse ownership structures,” explained Stellings. “What is exciting is that any business, with the right story and right communication platform, can win reputationally.”
Reputation Winners and Losers
Beyond the Top 10, House of Fraser, Dyson and Pret all saw significant reputational declines.
From near business collapse and controversial ownership changes (House of Fraser), to plans for HQ relocation and interventions in the Brexit debate (Dyson), and allergy mislabeling (Pret), these businesses all suffered reputationally.
Not all businesses that faced a crisis suffered, however. KFC experienced supply chain difficulties, while BA endured a major data breach. “KFC and BA both experienced major challenges in 2019,” noted Harry Foster, Reputation Institute UK Market Lead, “but through clear, proactive communication, enacting plans to remedy their issues, and direct apologies, they were able to hold steady reputationally and avoid harmful business outcomes.”
Significant reputation climbers outside the Top 10 include Starbucks, recovering from past tax issues and taking action on sustainability; Whirlpool, heavily investing in smart technology; and Aldi, poised at No 11 to enter next year’s Top 10.
The Global Context
In the 2019 Global RepTrak® 100, published in March, Rolex and LEGO maintain the leading positions. Netflix surged from 24th place to ninth place while Michelin moves up to the eighth spot. The BMW Group, which placed ninth a year ago, and Google (third in 2018), slipped out of the top 10. Facebook had the biggest overall decline in reputation, largely driven by its perceived short-comings on governance and in the workplace.
Commenting on the global results, Reputation Institute Chief Reputation Officer Stephen Hahn-Griffiths said, “It’s reputation judgment day, given that 52% of the world have doubts about the good intentions of all companies. At the same time, companies have a great opportunity to create and deliver reputation assurances that, over time, can convert fence sitters to promoters. Companies that elevate positive perceptions of the enterprise, prioritize corporate responsibility, leverage strong leadership, are ethical, speak to the corporate brand purpose and engage market influences are those who will win in this daunting new reputation era.”
The UK RepTrak is the largest reputation study in the UK. Reputation Institute collected more than 50,000 ratings for 500+ companies. All interviews were conducted in Q1 of 2019.