Apple's corporate reputation in slow decline, market research suggests

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According to an annual study by the Reputation Institute on Tuesday, Apple is experiencing a slow but certain deterioration in perceived corporate reputation, with research showing a significant decline over the past year.




Apple landed at No. 20 on the Reputation Institute's Global RepTrak 100 list during the first quarter of 2017, down ten spots from the same time last year.

The study assigns rankings to large corporations across a number of industries, including tech, automotive, consumer goods and luxury brands. More than 170,000 ratings were compiled for the Global RepTrak 100, including comparative ratings and trends that shed light willingness to purchase a company's products, recommend the brand, invest in or work for the company.

Last year, Apple placed 10th overall, but fell to 20th place after dropping 1.7 "Pulse Score" points in the first quarter.

The reason for Apple's decline was not immediately clear, but the Reputation Institute's CMO Allen Bonde says the company's ranking has been falling since it finished in the No. 2 spot in 2011, reports CNet.

"Apple still has an excellent reputation for its products and corporate performance, but as the perceptions of its governance and citizenship fade, the company is starting to take a hit when it comes to its overall corporate reputation," Bonde said.

Beyond Apple, the tech sector saw two top-10 finishes with Google taking 5th place, down two spots from last year, while Intel landed in the No. 8 spot. Microsoft dropped out of the top 10 in the first quarter to finish in 11th place.

Apple's smartphone rival Samsung saw a precipitous decline from 17th place to 70th place, mostly due to last year's Galaxy Note 7 debacle. In August, early Note 7 users began to report problems of exploding or combusting handsets, a problem that continued until device sales were halted in October.

An investigation later found the fiery hazard to stem from design and manufacturing flaws related to the handset's battery.

Today's findings go on to highlight luxury watchmaker Rolex, which took the top spot on this year's RepTrak 100 list. Consumer toymaker LEGO followed in second place, while Walt Disney placed third.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 78
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    Interesting to see Rolex at No. 1. 

    I'm really upset Apple seems to be dropping the Edition Watch. 
  • Reply 2 of 78
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    cali said:
    Interesting to see Rolex at No. 1. 

    I'm really upset Apple seems to be dropping the Edition Watch. 
    The Edition edition? /s
  • Reply 3 of 78
    Ahhhh, I hear the Reputation Institute doesn't even rank in their own rankings. (that's a joke people...) but honestly. Does anyone take their opinion into account of anything? And who in their right mind puts Intel higher than Apple in anything?
    repressthislostkiwiSpamSandwichcalicornchipgilly017andrewj5790lolliverstarwarsjbdragon
  • Reply 4 of 78
    tundraboytundraboy Posts: 1,786member
    I thought reputation rankings were bogus when Apple was No. 1, still think they're bogus today. 'Reputation' as a measurable statistic is a fuzzy, consultant-invented concept designed to get them some publicity and hopefully some consulting revenues.

    You ask those 10 corporations at the top of the reputation ranking if they'd rather be in Apple's shoes instead of where they are and every single one of them will say 'Yes'.  That's the only measure of reputation that counts.
    edited February 2017 brakkenrandominternetpersonlostkiwiSpamSandwichfotoformatcornchipgilly017chiapscooter63adamc
  • Reply 5 of 78
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,402moderator
    Any ranking that would have Google higher than Apple is highly suspect in its measurement or surveying methodology.  More myopia (my vote for 2017's investing/analyst word of the year).  
    lostkiwiSpamSandwichewtheckmanrepressthisgilly017chialolliverstarwarsbrucemcjbdragon
  • Reply 6 of 78
    Any ranking that would have Google higher than Apple is highly suspect in its measurement or surveying methodology.
    Indeed... Astonishing...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 78
    stevenozstevenoz Posts: 272member
    I'm really upset Apple seems to be dropping the Edition Watch. 
    I thought the Apple v1 gold Edition Watch was pretty silly. All electronics are basically for 3-5 years use, until technology makes them obsolete... Then what? Melt it down?

    Presumably there are people who want you to think they have money to burn. I just think of gold Apple Watch wearers as not-getting-it.

    As for Apple's drop in Global RepTrak 100's list... It's obvious... 'Apple is doomed.'

    Karl Lagerfeld's gold Apple Watch.

     

       
    brakkenrepressthis1983
  • Reply 8 of 78
    But why? Apple's corporate governance didn't change in 2016 over 2015. The only controversial thing they did was tell the FBI to pound sand, and if that's the reason then "reputation" be damned. 
    SpamSandwichrepressthisandrewj5790radarthekatbrucemcjbdragonbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 78
    "Reputation Institute" (suppresses uncontrolled laughter)

    tommikeleSpamSandwichdewmelostkiwirepressthisandrewj5790pscooter63radarthekatlolliverjbdragon
  • Reply 10 of 78
    entropysentropys Posts: 3,193member
    I think it has more to do with a perception of increasing prices for more resticted functionality.  Doesn't have to be true, it doesn't have to be reasonable, but if your long term and otherwise most loyal customers are loudly and publically expressing unhappiness, there should be a developing problem with your reputation.
    mikesay98environmentalidiotrepressthisDonvermo1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 78
    tommikeletommikele Posts: 532member
    "Reputation Institute"? You've got to be kidding. Sounds like a large load of stinky waste to me. Who are they? How do they pay their bills? Where does their funding come from? What were the criteria used for their "research"?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 78
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,627member
    entropys said:
    I think it has more to do with a perception of increasing prices for more resticted functionality.  Doesn't have to be true, it doesn't have to be reasonable, but if your long term and otherwise most loyal customers are loudly and publically expressing unhappiness, there should be a developing problem with your reputation.
    Which they are NOT. “Restricted functionality” is a troll buzzphrase. So is “overpriced.” This Reputation Institute is typical of irrelevant entities trying to get attention. Go negative on Apple and get noticed. And trolls such as yourself take the bait every time.
    repressthispscooter63radarthekatlolliverbrucemcwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 78
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 2,482member
    I followed the links to read about the methods. It sounds like this is based on a large number of interviews with consumers, and focused on things like trust and how the company lives up to expectations. So, sort of the Family Feud approach ("Survey says..."). So it's all about perception, which is fine.... even if perception is at odds with reality, perception still matters. 

    While it's true that Apple today isn't meeting my expectations in the way they were 3 or 4 years ago, it's also true that Intel has declined far more in my eyes, as has Google. 

    Actually, quite a few companies have declined in my view, and most more so than Apple. 

    One big and surprising exception is Microsoft. Granted, Microsoft started at a very low level, but since Balmer left they've generally improved a fair bit. I still prefer Apple's ecosystem to Microsoft's (the fact that Microsoft has no presence in the phone market is a killer for them), but Microsoft today is much more supportive of Office on Macs and iPads, Windows 10 is not totally awful, and my impression is that their cloud services are pretty decent. 

    Another potential exception is AMD, if Ryzen ends up as good as advertised. If it does end up being as good as advertised, I would be thrilled to see an 8 core iMac.... 
     
  • Reply 14 of 78
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,683member
    The decline is so slow that when adjusted for inflation it is negative decline ;-)
    pscooter63radarthekatwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 78
    Maybe because Apple has become such a behemoth in the same way as Microsoft did 15+ years ago that they are incapable of radical innovation and have been caught and passed by it's competitors. Which in many way is not surprising as it is the way of natural selection. Are Apple likely to risk sales of the iPhone for a radical new design / device which might flop, of course not. Given where they are these days they are never going to be that innovative company like when Steve Jobs returned who had to otherwise they would have gone bust. For those who don't know or remember they had to to be bailed out by Microsoft to the amount of around $600m if I remember correctly. Apple are primarily a hardware company as that is where they make their money, but of course with some great software on top, otherwise I wouldn't have been using Macs for the past 20 years. Google / Alphabet are primarily a software company but of course selling a limited amount of hardware. Amazon are primarily a software services company fulfilling hardware delivery. Hardware is easy to copy as has been proven with the many iPhone lookalikes, plus of course the "free" software thrown in. For services there will always be alternative competition though not necessarily on the scale of Amazon. For Google however they are pretty much unrivalled in the amount of information they are able to gather. So if the future is in AI which is after all based upon "information" then they are at the moment ultimately heads and shoulders above everyone else. If you compare Siri, Alexa and Google, Siri is well behind. Time will tell, but I know who my money is on at the moment and it ain't Apple.
    edited February 2017 anantksundaram
  • Reply 16 of 78
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 661member
    Based on my recent experience getting my iPhone fixed I'm not surprised. Apple is becoming the Microsoft we all hated. Yes, Job's inventions for Apple have been great for the stock and will continue to be for some time but what has Cook actually delivered on? Apple Watch? Wireless ear phones? 
    anantksundarambrucemc
  • Reply 17 of 78
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,328member
    "perceived corporate reputation"

    What the fuck does this even mean? Is it connected to a single specific aspect? If so, which? What horse-shit. 

    But hey, I guess people need to find something new to frame Apple's "decline", since they can't with things like brand equity, sales, profits, revenues, stock price, or customer satisfaction, no matter how hard they try. 
    cornchippscooter63radarthekatlolliverStrangeDayswatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 78
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,250member
    Any ranking that would have Google higher than Apple is highly suspect in its measurement or surveying methodology.  More myopia (my vote for 2017's investing/analyst word of the year).  
    Hmm... just because you like Google less compared to Apple, it must be true?
    gatorguybrucemc
  • Reply 19 of 78
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,250member
    slurpy said:
    "perceived corporate reputation"

    What the fuck does this even mean? Is it connected to a single specific aspect? If so, which? What horse-shit. 

    But hey, I guess people need to find something new to frame Apple's "decline", since they can't with things like brand equity, sales, profits, revenues, stock price, or customer satisfaction, no matter how hard they try. 
    It means exactly what it says. The reputation of a corporation as perceived by those who were sureveyed (or whose opinions were sought). 

    Why is that so complicated!?
    brucemc
  • Reply 20 of 78
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,580member
    If Samsung's reputation declined because of Note 7's few incident and their #17 position dropped to #70 than you know how this reputation institute is not reputable. So, Apple not to worry. You are the best.
    cornchipRayz2016Soliwatto_cobra
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