Google, Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire are the three most admired companies in Canada, while Tim Hortons plummeted from last year's results, according to NATIONAL Public Relations and Leger's 2018 Corporate Reputation Study.
This marks the 21st edition of the Leger study that ranks corporate reputations. It is the third year that NATIONAL has partnered with Leger and the second year for The Globe and Mail's Report on Business as its media partner.
"It is clear that Canadians judge their most admired companies based on the ability to respond to a crisis and how they treat their employees and customer base," says Christian Bourque, Executive Vice-President and Partner at Leger.
For Google, it is the sixth straight year that it has earned the number one ranking in the study.
Rounding out the top 10 corporate reputations in Canada are: Sony, Samsung, Microsoft, Dollarama, Kellogg Canada Inc., Campbell Company of Canada and Kraft.
Tim Hortons, however, experienced a massive drop from its 2017 number four ranking to the 50th position. The company received significant backlash with its reduction to employee benefits, resulting in protests and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne accusing the founders' children of bullying its employees.
Samsung, however, had the biggest increase, pulling itself up the rankings from 24th place last year to fifth position overall.
Last year, the electronics company fell behind due to its smartphones overheating and some catching fire. Since then, Samsung has been able to restore its reputation among users.
"These companies are acutely aware of how serious today's reputational challenges can be," says Rick Murray, Managing Partner and Chief Digital Strategist at NATIONAL Public Relations. "Canadian brands everywhere must step up their reputation efforts and recognize that in order for them to build and maintain trust, they must do more than simply respond to the media."
For the first time this year, Leger looked at the powerful millennial cohort, adding their views to the mix.
Millennials ranked their top most admired companies slightly differently: Netflix, Canada Post and Amazon (ranked fifth, sixth and seventh in the Millennial top 10) were the differentiators, shedding light on the cohort's lust for on-demand video streaming and online shopping.
The 2018 reputation study is composed of 241 companies. Only companies with presence in all Canadian regions are part of the Canadian ranking.