- Amazon,Wegmans,Tesla, and Chick-fil-A are all wildly popular companies in the US.
- They all appeared on The Harris Poll’s 2018 ranking of the companies with the best reputations.
- The rankings were based on factors like emotional appeal, vision, and social responsibility.
That’s according The Harris Poll’s 2018 ranking of companies with the best reputations among American consumers.
First, The Harris Poll surveyed 25,800 American adults to determine which companies are the most “visible” to the public. The top 100 most visible companies were then assigned reputation quotients based on participants’ perceptions of each brand’s social responsibility, vision and leadership, financial performance, products and services, emotional appeal, and workplace environment.
According to The Harris Poll, a score of 80 and above indicates an “excellent” reputation, while scores of 75 to 79 indicate a “very good” reputation. The top 14 companies on the list received scores within the “excellent” range.
To determine what’s working for these brands, Business Insider compiled statements from current and former employees at these popular companies made on Quora and Glassdoor.
Do you work at any of these companies? Email [email protected]
An employee said that ‘making sure the customer is 100% satisfied’ is key at The Home Depot
Reputation quotient: 78.78
Home Depot employee Angélic Brodie wrote on Quora that working for the home improvement company was mostly like “working at any other retail place.” But she added that “everything revolves around the core values of the company and making sure the customer is 100% satisfied.”
And the brand has reportedly taken steps to better the experience of shoppers in the past.
Some customers, like Boston.com‘s Scott Burns, decried understaffing issues at the chain in the mid-2000s. But Home Depot has since streamlined and improved its application processes, in order to ensure customers aren’t dealing with stores manned by skeleton crews.
And, in a store review written for Business Insider, Jessica Tyler found that Home Depot had a lot to offer consumers.
“Home Depot’s selection was astounding,” she wrote. “It had all types of flooring in a huge variety of styles and patterns, and there were a few employees in each department to help.”
A LG Corporation employee described a fast-paced company dedicated to creating quality products
Reputation quotient: 78.92
An anonymous LG Corporation employee took to Glassdoor in 2017 to write that the South Korea-based conglomerate was “very customer-focused” and able to churn out truly “great products.”
“Decisions can be made very fast to stay relevant and ahead of competitors,” the employee wrote.
And, if the company’s recent record earnings are any indication, consumers are liking what they’re seeing from LG.
Business Insider’s Antonio Villas-Boas gave LG’s latest G7 ‘ThinQ‘ a positive review – and he was also a fan of the LG G6. And individual consumers aren’t the only ones taking notice. CNET reported that Netflix recently gave “the vast majority” of LG’s 2018 TV models its blessing.
A Berkshire Hathaway employee said the company has been able to become so successful by valuing “individual responsibility”
Reputation quotient: 78.97
Led by famed investor Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway has a sterling reputation as one of the most successful companies in the world.
As Buffett’s influence grew over the decades, Berkshire Hathaway’s annual Q&A meeting in Omaha has morphed into a widely-attended, veritable “carnival” Business Insider’s Akin Oyedele reported.
“Another really great part of working there was the level of individual responsibility,” Tucker wrote. “That may seem kind of weird, but knowing exactly what is expected of you – and what is not – is quite refreshing compared to many other corporations today.”
That’s probably why the Oracle of Omaha himself isn’t worried about how Berkshire Hathaway will fare when he retires.
“That’s for two reasons: the company’s assets and its culture,” Markets Insider’s Jacob Sonenshine reported.
A Whole Foods Market employee said the grocery chain was open to ‘feedback’
Reputation quotient: 79.04
Whole Foods’ longtime commitment to organic foods has always caught the attention of shoppers and competitors alike.
Still, many shoppers and employees alike are hopeful that the changes to the business won’t be too drastic, going forward.
A former part-time cashier at Whole Foods wrote on Glassdoor that they had found that the company always treated employees well. What’s more, the cashier added that the chain inspired customer loyalty by welcoming “feedback from employees on ways to improve things for employees and customers.”
An employee at Lowe’s said the chain gives back to the community
Reputation quotient: 79.27
Mirian Mendez, who works in customer service at Lowe’s, wrote on Quora that management at Lowe’s recognises and supports “employees who work hard” and also gives “back to the surrounding communities.”
Lowe’s shares are down at the moment, according to Markets Insider.
But “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer defended the home improvement chain, arguing, “I think Lowe’s may not be getting the credit it deserves. They have terrific appliance sales, not to mention a good online initiative. And, frankly, they have pride, which will spur them to deliver better numbers going forward.”
A Netflix employee described the work culture as ‘utopian’
Reputation quotient: 79.30
Joe Sondow wrote on Quora that Netflix employees are driven by “high expectations.” Who holds those expectations? Just about everyone, from Netflix’s managers to its 118 million streaming subscribers to the employees themselves.
“It’s really hard to create and maintain a utopian work environment, but Netflix comes pretty close,” he wrote.
Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz reported that the streaming company does this in part by only keeping around the most effective employees.
In addition to that dogged quest for efficiency, Netflix’s wide-ranging and easily-accessible selection of films and television programs has earned it much goodwill among its growing base of subscribers.
And Business Insider’s John Lynch reported that the company is well on its way toward overthrowing more traditional show business companies.
Procter & Gamble Co. has a great mission, according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 79.32
Former Procter & Gamble employee Ed Burghard wrote on Quora that people at the company are “brilliant.”
And current employee wrote on Glassdoor that the company has a “great overall mission.”
Its diverse array of brands, which include Dawn, Oral-B, Charmin, Pampers, and Vicks, are well-known among any consumer who’s perused household and personal care products.
Recently, the company has come up against some market woes. In April, CNBC reported that Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts downgraded the company over a number of factors like, “rising costs for consumer packaged goods companies.”
But that hasn’t stopped the brand from making big moves. The company has bought Merck’s consumer health unit, in a bid to expand its selection of vitamin brands and attract more consumers abroad.
Honda Motor Company brings out the best in employees, according to one worker
Reputation quotient: 79.60
Honda cars are known for their reliability. And one employee took to Glassdoor to say that there’s a reason for that. The Ohio-based employee wrote that the car-maker “will bring out the best of anyone” and added that they are proud to say that they work “at this great company.”
Dependability is a crucial factor for many car buyers. Business Insider’s Matt DeBord declared the Honda Odyssey the superior minivan in a showdown with the Toyota Sienna. But the car company has recently been trying to look beyond competing with its rivals.
In a bid to move beyond the world of affordable cars, the automaker has made a splash by launching the luxurious HondaJet.
“As we obsessed about Toyota and beating it in the marketplace, we started to look like Toyota,” Honda R&D President and CEO Yoshiyuki Matsumoto told Reuters in 2017. “We started to forget why we existed as a company to begin with.”
Managers are hands-on at The Kroger Company, according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 79.67
A former Kroger grocery stocker in Michigan wrote on Glassdoor that their coworkers were always willing to go the extra mile for customers.
“Management differs from store to store, but management at mine was awesome. The managers were super friendly and were never afraid to work as a team with all the employees,” the former employee wrote. “Managers would even hop on a checkout lane to bag if we were short of baggers.”
Kroger had a particularly strong holiday season this past year, Reuters reported. And the discount grocery chain also sought to delight customers by opening another iteration of its Kitchen 1883 restaurant, according to Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson.
“The company is testing the waters in the restaurant industry at a time when US shoppers are seeking out prepared foods more than ever before,” Peterson reported.
Costco strives to make members happy, according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 79.78
Business Insider spoke with 48 Costco employees to get a sense of why the warehouse chain has accrued such a cult following.
“As long as you don’t abuse it, Costco will do just about anything to make members happy,” a Minnesota-based employee told Business Insider.
“Make sure that the public knows that we know your time is valuable,” a seasonal Costco employee from New York told Business Insider. “Just give us a moment and we will treat each of you with the same courtesy.”
A Boeing Company employee said that its products ‘change the world’
Reputation quotient: 79.80
Boeing employee Jim Newcomb wrote on Quora that he loved working for the company.
“It’s a huge company with lots of resources, and every day we are developing technologies and products which can change the world,” he wrote. “It’s great to be a part of something bigger than any one person could do alone.”
Boeing is an immensely powerful company, as one of the largest aircraft manufacturers on the globe. It’s also one of the biggest defence contractors in the US.
Despite concerns about a trade war with China, Boeing has been doing so well that it’s recently raised its earnings forecast for the year. The company has also continued to introduce innovative and eye-catching new aircraft, like one plane that can refuel fighter jets in midair, Business Insider’s Mark Matousek reported.
L.L. Bean cares about its mission statement, according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 79.83
A former salesperson at L.L. Bean wrote on Glassdoor that they worked with “genuinely nice people” who “truly cared about the company’s merchandise and mission statement.”
L.L. Bean recently nixed its famously generous return policy, thanks to customers who took advantage of the rule.
Despite that, the retailer has benefitted from the boost in popularity of its iconic “duck boot.” Consumers just can’t get enough of them.
“Bean Boot mania, it seems, will not abate any time soon,” Business Insider’s Dennis Green reported.
An employee of the Kellogg Company said the brand’s all about good food and inclusivity
Reputation quotient: 80.00
“You won’t find a company with the kind of brands and iconic characters they have,” a former employee wrote on Glassdoor. “The food they make is as good as you will find on the shelf, and they are a very inclusive and diverse company.”
And, from the sounds of it, Kellog is also eager to meet consumers where they are, in terms of their breakfast preferences.
Business Insider’s Kate Taylor reported that Kellogg is pivoting to other breakfast foods, rather than simply relying on cereal sales, which have dropped 5% between 2009 and 2014. Taylor reported that, “Instead of convincing customers to return to their daily a bowls of cereal and milk, it is reimagining cereal as an ingredient in other dishes – even those later in the day than breakfast.”
The brand is also adept at playing on its customers’ nostalgia and desire for novelty, launching themed products like a cereal dedicated to Nintendo’s Super Mario and a fancy cereal café in New York City.
An employee at The Kraft Heinz Company said the company invests in people
Reputation quotient: 80.15
A Kraft Heinz Company employee of 20 years wrote on Glassdoor that employee “… are accountable, empowered and supported by our leadership. I see how we are investing in our brands, people, and customers.”
The company might be famous for brands like Heinz ketchup, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer, and Kraft cheese. But quite recently, Kraft Heinz has been working to cater to a completely different kind of consumer: organic food junkies.
Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that, “Kraft Heinz is appealing to emerging natural and organic brands at a time when some of these companies are feeling abandoned by Whole Foods.”
A Nike employee said the brand is all about hard work
Reputation quotient: 80.24
Nike is one of the most recognisable athletic-wear brands in the world.
But recent reports have led to speculation about Nike’s work culture. The New York Times has reported that Nike is haemorrhaging male executives, as allegations about sexual harassment and problematic behaviours – like firing employees via PowerPoint – have come to light.
Nonetheless, Nike still continues to clobber its rivals in the “sneaker war,” according to Markets Insider.
Former Nike risk analyst Niels Louwes wrote in 2017 on Quora that the brand drives its employees to “work extremely hard.”
“Things are extremely competitive at the moment, with Adidas and Under Armour trying very hard to take market share,” Louwes wrote.
A Microsoft employee said that the tech giant is able to develop products that ‘practically everybody uses’
Reputation quotient: 80.42
Samir Majhi, a former program manager at Microsoft, wrote on Quora that employees at the tech company get “… a chance to work at a company that created products like Windows and Office, which practically everybody uses.”
And that enduring popularity is reflected in the company’s latest string of successes.
Current Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has played a crucial role in making the tech giant a formidable opponent to Google and Apple once more.
“Microsoft is back on track,” Business Insider’s Rachel Sandler and Matt Weinberger wrote.
Markets Insider reported that Microsoft is set to eventually become a $US1 trillion company.
An Aldi employee said that they bonded with the chain’s customers
Reputation quotient: 80.43
Aldi is well-known for its affordable grocery offerings. But, according to one employee, the chain also provides a friendly and close-knit place for people to shop.
An Aldi employee wrote on Glassdoor in March 2018 that they had become “close with coworkers and regular customers.”
And, from the looks of it, more and more customers may get the chance to shop at Aldi in the near future.
In order to compete with its rivals in the grocery business, Aldi recently partnered up with Instacart in 2017 to enable grocery deliveries. And in March, Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson reported that Aldi has also partnered up with Kohl’s in a push to open more stores.
“Aldi has been rapidly expanding across the US in recent years, and a larger deal with Kohl’s would help it expand even faster,” Peterson wrote.
A Patagonia employee said the brand holds true to its mission of sustainability
Reputation quotient: 80.44
GQ dubbed Patagonia “fashion’s favourite outdoor brand.”
“The company really holds fast to their mission of sustainability,” a Boston-based employee wrote on Glassdoor. “It’s part of everything they do.”
The employee added that they “do a great job of hiring people that share that goal.”
Patagonia is certainly known for putting its money where its mouth is, when it comes to its values.
The company has pressed consumers to mend old items instead of purchasing replacements, in order to lessen the brand’s environmental impact. Some of its products are made almost entirely from recycled materials.
And the chain even took on President Donald Trump over his decision to slash the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
An employee at Publix Super Markets said workers feel a ‘responsibility’ to provide excellent customer service
Reputation quotient: 80.81
A current Publix employee wrote on Glassdoor that the chain’s “company pride” is a major draw.
“Publix is employee owned, so I felt a responsibility to provide excellent customer service,” a part-time Publix employee wrote on Glassdoor.”I liked the interaction with customers and the fast pace because the store was extremely busy.”
There’s a lot of effort put into bettering the shopping experience at the store, too. Business Insider’s Mary Hanbury reported that, “Publix has made considerable investments in remodeling its stores to keep them looking modern and clean.”
That dedication to customer service has apparently paid off. According to a 2018 Market Force Information survey, Publix Super Markets is the best supermarket in America.
UPS keeps up a ‘strenuous’ pace to benefit customers, according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 81.12
Former UPS un-loader and sorter Tim Lowe wrote on Quora that the work is “strenuous.” He added that the delivery company rewards those who can work within the strict time constraints, ensuring efficiency.
“It’s a good job with great benefits and the ability to become a package car driver, which is of course where the big bucks are,” he wrote.
And the package delivery company may be on the verge of becoming even faster. Business Insider’s Jonathan Camhi reported in February that UPS plans to “spend up to $US7 billion in 2018 on expanding its network capacity and automating facilities to handle growing shipping volumes.”
CNBC reported that Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicted that automation will allow the company’s shares to rise by 25%.
H-E-B Grocery maintains a ‘pleasant’ environment in its stores, according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 81.14
A current H-E-B cashier wrote on Glassdoor that the chain has a “family-oriented” and “pleasant” environment.
Forbes ranked the store as one of its top employers in the country this year.
“This chain has been providing a superior shopping experience for much longer than Whole Foods and is known for its gourmet cooked food and fresh bakery section,” Business Insider’s Ashley Lutz and Mary Hanbury wrote.
An employee at The Walt Disney Company said that everyone is pushed to do their ‘absolute best’
Reputation quotient: 81.53
The Walt Disney World Company has long had an almost unparalleled impact on the average American’s childhood.
Former Walt Disney World Company employee Michael Guttman wrote on Quora that Disney jobs aren’t always completely magical. But he added that they’re worth the stress.
“Overall, you are pushed to do your absolute best and attempt to push beyond that,” Guttman wrote. “Sometimes it can be draining, but very satisfying. If you want to coast along or just get by, Disney is not the place to be.”
And the company is set to continue to accrue more of a hold on pop culture in the future. Disney is set to purchase the film and TV assets of 21st Century Fox.
A Chick-fil-A employee noted that the restaurant emphasises a ‘courteous’ environment
Reputation quotient: 81.68
Nation’s Restaurant News described Chick-fil-A as a brand that has amassed “a cult following” over the years.
So what has the fast food chain done to attract such loyalty? According to a number of reports, the answer is simple. They’re nice.
Chick-fil-A is famous for its niceness. A 2016 report from QSR Magazine found that the chicken restaurant was the most polite chain in the US.
Former Chick-fil-A employee C. Berry wrote on Quora that, “The business model is centered on quick and courteous service which is something sought in all business transactions and interactions.”
He wrote that, “Due to the Christian nature of the business model, care is taken to present yourself in the most polite and professional way possible.”
Business Insider’s Hayley Peterson and Ashley Lutz declared Chick-fil-A “the best fast food chain in America,” back in 2014.
According to a report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, the chicken joint became America’s favourite fast food restaurant in 2016.
Tesla Motors’ mission has allowed it to gather a ‘cult’ following , according to an employee
Reputation quotient: 81.96
Tesla fans are so loyal to the brand that ex-BMW exec Bob Lutz described them as acting like “members of a religious cult.”
Former Tesla employee Chandramouli Venkatesan took to Quora to help explain how the brand is able to inspire such devotion.
He said the car company is made up of “highly skilled individuals with highly technical and problem-solving skills collaborating together with just one goal in mind: Achieve sustainable future for the world.”
That being said, the market buzz surrounding the automaker has been downright gloomy, as of late. Tesla’s stock is currently in a slump. Business Insider’s Matthew DeBord wrote that the company’s investors need to consider the possibility of the stock getting “wiped out” adding that, “Tesla is close to the edge.”
Investors might not be on the same page as the brand’s fans, who are still enthusiastic about the automaker’s possible ability to usher in a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly future.
A Wegmans employee said the company has a ‘family feel’
Reputation quotient: 82.75
Kristen Wilkinson, a front end coordinator at the family-owned grocery business, wrote on Quora that, “The family feel flows into everything that Wegmans is and does.”
She said the company cares about both its customers and employees and that its “products, quality and prices are undoubtedly the best.”
It’s also a big hit with shoppers. Wegmans is frequently ranked as one of the best grocery stores in America. Business Insider’s Kate Taylor and Hollis Johnson declared Wegmans the clear winner in a direct comparison with its rival, Kroger.
“After visiting Wegmans, we understand what its cultish customers see in the brand,” they concluded. “And, at the end of the day, we’d love to shop there again – even if it means passing up on cheaper groceries at a chain like Kroger.”
An Amazon employee said the company’s ‘workaholic environment’ helps to fuel its ‘ambitious plans’
Reputation quotient: 83.22
Amazon is a company known and celebrated for its efficiency. And its customers are getting their deliveries faster than ever – although the mass volume of orders is causing some problems for Prime.
But Amazon workers from around the globe told Business Insider that this quest to bolster customer satisfaction comes at a cost. They described gruelling conditions inside the company’s warehouses, describing an environment where people peed in trash cans to avoid missing targets.
Some former Amazon corporate employees took to Quora to share somewhat more positive experiences that explain why the retail giant might be on track to become the world’s first trillion dollar company.
Andrew Hamada, who worked at the online retailer for two and a half years, wrote that if your priorities include a work life balance “…then Amazon will probably sound toxic to you, and any ‘benefits’ will seem specious at best.”
Zach Musgrave, who worked at Amazon for eight years, added that individuals who don’t fit into “Amazon’s workaholic environment” don’t last.
He wrote that people who succeed at Amazon “…feel an incredible sense of purpose and accomplishment from participating in Amazon’s very ambitious plans, and they’re happy to give the company 50+ hours a week.”
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