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Aldi, Costco Among World's Most Reputable Companies

RepTrak ranks top 100 corporations on innovation and ESG
Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
ALDI, Costco Among World's Most Reputable Companies
No. 78 Costco scored a 73.4 on the RepTrak ranking.

Aldi, Costco and Amazon are among the top 100 most reputable companies in the world, according to RepTrak.

The company announced its annual ranking after surveying more than 68,000 respondents across the world’s 15 largest economies to gauge perception regarding a brand’s product and services, innovation, citizenship, performance, governance, leadership and workplace. 

For the first time, Aldi and Costco (Nos. 65 and 78, respectively) have made the top 100. In fact, 18 companies are new to the Global RepTrak this year, the largest number of newcomers in the Global RepTrak 100 since its inception 11 years ago. These new entrants include luxury fashion leaders (Chanel Inc, Hermès, Prada Group, Burberry Group Plc), travel and automotive industry names (Volvo Group,, Continental AG), consumer companies (Costco Wholesale Corp., Aldi GmbH & Co. KG, Mattel, Inc.) and other leaders: Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (SpaceX), BIC, Adobe Systems, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, PayPal, Henkel AG & Co.

Amazon ranked No. 42 in 2020, and  No. 93 this year. Even though there is a wide gap in the rankings they scored similarly in both years (2020: 73.6 and 2021: 73.1).

In 2021, RepTrak found that, overall, it was a much more difficult year to break into the top 100. The average score (on a scale of 1-100) was almost 75, the highest in 11 years. This is an indication of the rigorous reputation management in place among these leaders. Several of the companies that rank highest in the 2021 Global RepTrak 100 are those that have implemented ESG (Environment, Societal impact and Governance) initiatives within their global strategies.

Notable findings include:

  • Being relevant mattered in a difficult year. Consumer durables and apparel, technology (both hardware and software) and household and personal products companies lead the way after a year when the world depended on them for productivity, entertainment, comfort and safety.
  • Pharmaceutical industry’s Reputation Score improved from “average” to “strong” with vaccines propelling positive perceptions. Sanofi S.A., Eli Lilly Co. and Bristol Myers Squibb are among the top 10 for Reputation Score growth this year.
  • ESG leadership went to the pharmaceutical and household and personal products industries. The global respondents credited their ESG initiatives more than any other industries, another indication of the importance of pandemic-centered relevance in 2020.
  • Gen Z (18-25) and Millennial (26-40) perceptions differ. Gen Z perceives corporations with the greatest skepticism, as indicated by their weaker levels of support for the seven drivers of corporate reputation codified by RepTrak. Millennials were the most positive of all generational segments. Gen X (41-55) and Boomers (56-64) fall in the middle and don’t differ greatly.

For the complete 2021 Global RepTrak 100 ranking and report, with comprehensive analysis of global, industry and demographic trends, click here.

The top 10 of the 100 companies rated by greatest reputation increases and positive movement in their ranking are: Unilever PLC; Mars, Inc.; Cisco Systems, Inc.; The Samsung Group; Sanofi S.A.; Harley-Davidson, Inc.; HP Inc.; Procter & Gamble Co.; Eli Lilly and Company; and Bristol Myers Squibb.

“For Mars, building trust is a key business metric,” said Andy Pharoah, VP of corporate affairs and sustainability at Mars. “And we believe maintaining a strong reputation is central to our ability to achieve our goals and live up to our purpose – that the world we want tomorrow starts with how we do business today. In the past year, which has been unlike any other, it’s more important than ever for businesses like Mars to communicate regularly and frequently with our stakeholders and Associates. Success is about navigating the challenges of the day with clarity, empathy and integrity. These results demonstrate that our efforts are having a positive impact, and are being recognized more broadly.”

The Global RepTrak 100 results show that there is a strong correlation between companies that adhere to high ESG standards and companies that score favorably on the 2021 Global RepTrak 100.

“ESG is being used for the first time this year as a measurable component of reputation, and we can see firsthand why this is so important for 2021 and beyond. There is a strong correlation between companies who hold themselves to high standards, and companies who rank highly on the 2021 Global RepTrak 100,” said Kylie Wright-Ford, CEO of the RepTrak Co. “Stakeholders have access to more information than ever before, which is empowering them to make more informed decisions. Companies must not only deliver a quality product, but also show that they are doing so in an ethical and globally considerate way.”

For consideration in the 2021 Global RepTrak 100, a company had to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a corporate brand with global revenue above USD $2 billion.
  • Achieve a global average familiarity threshold above 20% in all 15 countries measured and a familiarity threshold above 20%  in eight or more of the 15 countries measured.
  • Reach a qualifying Reputation Score above the median score (i.e., 67.3 points).

To determine the ranking, RepTrak analyzed reputation data for several thousand companies that was collected between December 2020 and January 2021 using survey methodology and enriched by RepTrak’s historical database. Companies that met these criteria were then ranked based on their global Reputation Scores. A company’s corporate reputation is determined using RepTrak’s proprietary and patent-pending Reputation Score: a score from 0-100 that measures how people feel toward a particular company. Reputation Scores demonstrate a strong positive relationship with business outcomes, such as an audience’s willingness to buy, recommend or trust a company. The top 100 companies with the highest Reputation Scores made the final ranking.

The Global RepTrak 100 ranking is based on 68,577 respondents collected across the 15 largest economies globally using online surveys. 

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