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Global corporate reputation index finds major brands lag citizenship qualities

27 January, 2012

China regards big brands the best; Banking and Oil sectors score lowest

DAVOS, Switzerland — Major global brands have more work to close the gap between their performance in the marketplace and their citizenship, according to the inaugural Global Corporate Reputation Index, released today by Burson-Marsteller, Landor Associates, Penn Schoen Berland, and BrandAsset Consulting.

The tech industry scored the highest overall, but concerns about their citizenship are masked by their extreme scores on vision and innovation and the apparel industry shows the largest gap between citizenship and performance indicating continuing concerns about how their products are manufactured.

Using a proprietary model, the Global Corporate Reputation Index identifies 25 consumer companies with the best reputations, based on 40,000 consumer interviews regarding the qualities they associate with nearly 6,000 companies in six countries.

The Global Corporate Reputation Index focuses on two sets of attributes that drive corporate reputation: performance and citizenship. Performance measures the perceived success of a company’s products and services. Citizenship is a measure of the less tangible aspects of a company’s reputation. The strongest companies typically rank nearly 30% above their industry averages on citizenship, while outperforming their industries on performance by an average of 20%. Nevertheless, for most companies, citizenship continues to significantly lag performance, indicating many are still paying inadequate attention to this category, despite the increasing role it plays in today’s marketplace.

“This Index shows that companies have an opportunity to strengthen their reputation by demonstrating and communicating more actively their commitment to good corporate citizenship,” said Mark Penn, CEO of Burson-Marsteller and CEO of Penn Schoen Berland. “By sector, banks and oil companies have the most work to do while tech companies are still enjoying the glow from their innovation and vision.

“The results of this study bear out what we’ve known for some time,” said Craig Branigan, Chairman of Landor Associates. “In an increasingly transparent world, isolated programs and insufficient or insincere commitments will undermine corporate reputations. On the other hand, visible, authentic, and consistently delivered citizenship programs build successful corporate reputations and brands that stand the test of time. Good corporate citizenship really is good business.”

For a complete analysis, visit  

Other key findings include:

Time Helps Build a Strong Reputation.
- Great reputations are built over time, as many of the companies with the strongest reputations are also those that have the longest histories. In fact, 20 of the top 25 companies were founded before 1950, with the oldest tracing its roots all the way back to 1865. The top companies have an average age of 87 years, suggesting that the ability to withstand the test of time translates well into overall reputation.

Reputations Can Vary Across Countries
- China awards the highest reputations of all the markets in the study, while Japan and Brazil are the most critical of companies.

Banking Industry Is Challenged Following Crisis
- With the negative headlines of recent years surrounding the perceived role of the banking industry in the global financial crisis, it is not surprising that this industry scores lower than nearly all other industries on overall reputation. However, there are notable regional differences, with banks suffering the most on both performance and citizenship in the US and Russia, while scoring comparatively strongly in China and Brazil.

For More Information:
Paul Cordasco
+1 212-614-4522  

Mindy Romero
+1 212-614-5261  

About the Global Corporate Reputation Index
To measure corporate reputation, Penn Schoen Berland has developed a proprietary model through its work with thousands of companies over the last 35 years. For the purposes of the Index, companies’ reputations were evaluated based on consumer interviews in the BrandAsset Valuator study conducted by sister firm, BrandAsset Consulting. The BAV asks consumers in countries around the world to choose the qualities they associate with thousands of companies, including both performance- and citizenship-related attributes that translate into overall corporate reputation. The Global Corporate Reputation Index uses the most recent data available in Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the United States. For more information, please visit .

About Landor Associates
Landor Associates is one of the world’s leading strategic brand consulting and design firms. Its holistic approach to branding balances rigorous, business-driven thinking and exceptional creativity. Landor’s work spans the breadth of branding services, including research, positioning, strategy, architecture, naming and writing, corporate identity, consumer package design, environments, equity management, engagement, and digital branding. With 21 offices in 16 countries, Landor’s clients include BlackBerry, Citi, Diageo, Hilton, HP, Kraft Foods, Microsoft, MillerCoors, Panasonic, PepsiCo, P&G, and Verizon. Landor is a member of WPP, the world’s largest marketing communications services group. More information is available at  

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, reputation and crisis management, advertising, and web-related strategies. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 69 offices and 80 affiliate offices, together operating in 107 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), the world's largest marketing communications services group. More information is available at  

About Penn Schoen Berland
Penn Schoen Berland, a unit of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), is a global research-based consultancy that specializes in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate, and entertainment clients. PSB has over 30 years of experience in leveraging unique insights about consumer opinion to provide clients with a competitive advantage – what it calls Winning Knowledge. PSB executes polling and message testing services for Fortune 100 companies and has helped elect more than 30 presidents and prime ministers around the world. More information is available at  

About BrandAsset Consulting
BrandAsset Consulting, a unit of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), helps business executives and marketers assess, drive, and monitor the direction of their brands as strategic corporate assets, using the proprietary BrandAsset Valuator (BAV) models and metrics created from the world's most comprehensive study of brands, to link the more emotional aspects of brand affinity to the harder quantitative measures of finance. BrandAsset Consulting has been measuring brands since 1993 and today over 45,000 brands have been evaluated on 75 metrics, among 900,000 respondents in over 45 countries. More information is available at

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