Corporate Reputation Index: Apple falls, Toyota rises and the banks bite back

Flying in the face of the apparent turbulence present in the local car manufacturing industry, Toyota was today rated as the most reputable company in the nation according to the 2013 Corporate Reputation Index released by AMR and the Reputation Institute.

Knocking Apple Australia off the number one spot (Apple fell to five), Toyota has peaked in first position for the first time in the Index’s existence. It is quite the achievement for Toyota Australia who announced a $13.2 million loss after tax in June 2011.

Other automotive companies ranked well, with Mazda rising two places to rank 8th this year, Holden 10th and Ford Australia leapfrogging the competition by 12 places to rank 20th overall.

“While there may have been recalls, doubts cast over financial performance, staff layoffs and other issues facing the car industry in Australia, most people admire the fact that the companies are still here, and still operating in the local market,” says AMR’s managing director, Oliver Freedman.

Surprisingly, two of the nation’s big banks, Commonwealth and NAB, both rose significantly in reputation with Commonwealth up 21 places to rank 27th overall, and NAB jetting up the list 16 places to sit at 38th this year.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was ranked highest of the banks, coming 12th overall.

Westpac dropped six places to 52nd and ANZ fell nine places to rank 58th out of 60 companies measured in 2013.

“For many years, the Australian public have believed all four major banks are ‘the same’ but this year we have seen two – CBA and NAB – really separate themselves from other major players,” says Freedman.

“Interesting to note that these banks have undertaken significant communication programs and there is the perception that they have implemented real improvements in their products and service,” he adds.

Meanwhile Apple Australia’s reputation decline has more to do with how Australians view Apple’s products, its openness and transparency, and financial performance, says Freedman.

“While Apple may have initially differentiated itself in the local marketplace through true innovation, many of its more recent product launches have veered on the edge of novelty; simply updates on existing technology.”

Electronics were strong with JB HI-FI and The Good Guys in the top 10 with Air New Zealand again a surprise at 11 and the improvements in reputation for both Fairfax and News Limited a testament to their move into the digital age.

Reputation index