Burson-Marsteller used last week’s World Economic Forum to reveal results from its Global Reputation Index, research conducted with help from Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland.
The Index is based on a point system that evaluates companies and corporations based on performance and citizenship. A big difference in the scores in these two categories show that reputation is suffering from a lack of citizenship and, therefore, trustworthiness.
The study found that countries around the world and companies across a wide variety of industries are demonstrating a lag between performance and citizenship. Russia has the biggest discrepancy (19 points); the point differential for the U.S. is 11 points. Among industries, clothing and accessories (17 points) and food and beverage (15 points) had the biggest differences.
The tech and auto industries (followed closely by personal care) enjoy the best reputations. For tech, innovation provides a “halo” of goodness.
Among the top companies on the reputation index are Adidas, Coca-Cola, Sony, and Google.
The study also found that large companies that have been around for a while have the best reputations. And the banking industry is still coping with the reputational repercussions of the international financial crisis.
Edelman also analyzes the state of trust in the recently released 2012 Trust Barometer.