BMW and Sony Top Global Brand Reputation List
Reputation consultancy firm Reputation Institute has released its third annual Global RepTrak 100—a global reputation study of more than 100,000 consumers to determine how stakeholders perceive companies and how those perceptions influence purchases.
BMW, Sony and the Walt Disney Company were the most victorious brands, snagging the top three spots.
Using data collected in April, Reputation Institute calculated that the ten companies with the best global reputations are:
3. Walt Disney Company
10. LEGO Group
Interestingly, Google topped the RepTrak list in both 2011 and 2010, but fell to sixth place this year. Microsoft made its debut on the top ten-list this year, replacing Intel.
“In today’s reputation economy, what you stand for matters more than what you produce and sell,” says Reputation Institute’s Executive Partner Kasper Ulf Nielsen. “People’s willingness to buy, recommend, work for and invest in a company is driven 60 percent by their perceptions of the company and only 40 percent by their perceptions of their products.”
Reputation Institute attributes these companies’ success to an ability to present a story that translates across the globe, pointing out Apple’s exceptional ability to sustain a high ranking and global presence even after suffering the loss of Steve Jobs.
Data shows that only 11 percent of the top 100 companies on the RepTrak list have better reputations abroad than at home, although many companies receive up to 95 percent of revenue from foreign markets.
“It’s because reputation isn’t something that’s easy to export,” says Nicolas Georges Trad, Executive Partner at Reputation Institute. “Your reputation is an emotional connection which is built over time. It’s tied to your history and past actions. Exporting that emotion is proving to be very difficult. But, it’s a recipe for success when competing globally. Today, companies lose as much as 40 percent of recommendations outside their home markets. This has to change if they want to capture market shares globally. To improve sales, companies must invest in reputation.”
The study also showed that, unsurprisingly, a company’s reputation is directly connected to consumers’ desire to recommend it. When asked about the top RepTrak companies, 55 percent of consumers said that they would recommend them to others, while only 22 percent said the same for those companies at the bottom of the list.
How innovation is transforming government
According to Washington Technology’s Top 100 list, Leidos is the largest IT provider to the government. But as Lieutenant General William J. Bender explains, “that barely scratches the surface” of the company’s portfolio and drive for innovation.
Bender, who spent three and a half decades in the military, including a stint as the U.S. Air Force’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), has seen action in the field and in technology during that time, and it runs in the family. Bender’s son is an F-16 instructor pilot. So it stands to reason Bender Senior intends to ensure a thriving technological base for the U.S. Air Force. “What we’re really doing here is transforming the federal government from the industrial age into the information age and doing it hand-in-hand with industry,” he says.
The significant changes that have taken place in the wider technology world are precisely the capabilities Leidos is trying to pilot the U.S. Air Force through. It boils down to developing cyberspace as a new domain of battle, globally connected and constantly challenged by the threat of cybersecurity attacks.
“We recognize the importance of the U.S. Air Force’s missions,” says Bender, “and making sure they achieve those missions. We sit side-by-side with the air combat command, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance infrastructure across the Air Force. There are multiple large programs where the Air Force is partnering with Leidos to ensure their mission is successfully accomplished 24/7/365. In this company, we’re all in on making sure there’s no drop in capability.”
That partnership relies on a shared understanding of delivering successful national security outcomes, really understanding the mission at hand, and Leidos’ long-standing relationship of over 50 years with the federal government.
To look at where technology is going, Bender thinks it is important to look back at the last 10 to 15 years. “What we’ve seen is a complete shift in how technology gets developed,” he says. “It used to be that the government invested aggressively in research and development, and some of those technologies, once they were launched in a military context, would find their way into the commercial space. That has shifted almost a hundred percent now, where the bulk of the research and development dollars and the development of tech-explicit technologies takes place in the commercial sector.”
“There’s a long-standing desire to adopt commercial technology into defense applications, but it’s had a hard time crossing the ‘valley of death’ [government slang for commercial technologies and partnerships that fail to effectively transition into government missions]. Increasingly we’re able to do that. We need to look at open architectures and open systems for a true plug-and-play capability. Instead of buying it now and trying to guess what it’s going to be used for 12 years from now, it should be evolving iteratively.”