Toyota NZ tops reputation study, Air NZ slips

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Toyota has reclaimed the title of New Zealand’s most reputable company, rising from 2nd place last year to take line honours in this year’s annual New Zealand Corporate Reputation Index.

Toyota’s consistently strong reputation has seen it ranked in the top two places since 2013; it is also the only company in this year’s survey to achieve an Excellent overall reputation score.  Toyota also achieved the highest scores for the individual reputation measurements of Products, Governance, Innovation and Citizenship.

The study – which has been produced each year since 2011 by STW-owned research consultancy AMR in conjunction with the Reputation Institute – ranked Air New Zealand second in this year’s rankings. The national flagship carrier ranked first overall last year, third in 2013 and first in 2011 and 2012.

The annual Corporate Reputation Index measures how New Zealanders view the nation’s top 25 companies across seven reputation drivers, and then ranks them according  to people’s overall emotional reaction using more than 6000 ratings.

It is part of a global study conducted each year and uses a method validated by a database of more than three million ratings.

AMR managing director Oliver Freedman said Toyota’s performance in the areas of Products, Innovation, Governance and Citizenship had been particularly highly rated by New Zealanders this year.

“To rate so highly across these four measurements established an excellent emotional connection with many New Zealanders, who place great value on innovation, transparency, community involvement and consistently great products,” he explained. “Toyota’s strong results in these areas show the importance of having a good reputation across a number of different criteria.”

Freedman said the biggest improvement in this year’s results had been shown by Woolworths [Countdown], which rose from 23rd in 2014 to rate 9th for its overall reputation in 2015.

“Woolworths had what many perceived to be a disastrous year in 2014, which saw allegations of anti-competitive behaviour tarnish its reputation,” Freedman said. “However, being cleared of any wrongdoing, coupled with its Price drop Price lockdown campaign, has allowed the company’s reputation to significantly recover.

“This demonstrates how much the perception of unethical behaviour can damage a corporation’s behaviour.  It also shows that operating with integrity has to be at the core of how a corporation does business not only to improve reputation, but protect it when under scrutiny.”

Fletcher Building also saw a strong improvement in its reputation this year; it climbed five places from 18th in 2014 to rank 13th in the 2015 index, demonstrating improved perceptions of its openness, transparency and ethics.

In other results, major banks ASB, BNZ and Westpac all improved their overall ranking this year by four places from last year, while the reputations of both Vodafone and Sky Network TV both fell in the eyes of New Zealanders.

Vodafone saw its ranking plummet eight places from 12th in 2014 to 20th this year, following the announcement of potential job losses, and financial losses at the end of 2014 which negatively impacted consumers’ views of the company’s Performance.

The Corporate Reputation Index has been produced in New Zealand for the past five years.  A similar study is also conducted in Australia, with Toyota also measured as the most reputable company there this year.

About the Reputation Index

The Reputation Index measures how New Zealanders feel about each of the 25 companies according to seven parameters; Products, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Performance.  Adults aged 18-64 are surveyed as part of the Reputation Index in New Zealand, with results weighted to ensure they represent appropriate gender and age groups. The study includes the top 25 companies based on revenue sourced from the 2014 Deloitte Top 200 list. Other major reputation or Corporate Responsibility studies conducted in New Zealand and Australia use a self-rating system; the companies being analysed voluntarily provide the data, which can then be audited.  The Reputation Index differs because it collates insight direct from consumers, and does not rely on any information provided by the companies being studied.

  • See the full NZ top 25 list here

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