Google is the most admired company in Canada, so ubiquitous that its name has become a verb. And for the fifth straight year, the social media company topped the charts in the Leger/NATIONAL Public Relations Corporate Reputation Study.
Christian Bourque, Leger’s Executive Vice-President, who presented the results Friday at a breakfast at The Globe and Mail’s new office and event space in downtown Toronto, noted that it certainly helps Google’s reputation when the company’s name has become part of the lexicon.
“Imagine, if we said ‘Leger’ this or ‘NATIONAL’ that?” he added.
This is the second year NATIONAL has partnered with Leger and first year for The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business as its media partner. The Globe’s article on the study is here.
Shoppers Drug Mart and Canadian Tire placed second and third in this 20th edition of the Leger study that ranks corporate reputations year over year. Rounding out the top 10 most admired companies in Canada are: Tim Hortons, Dollarama, Staples, Kellogg’s, Sony, Campbell’s and Home Depot.
Among the least admired, however, were Air Miles, Samsung and Heinz – companies that have been dealing with controversy, upheaval and communications snafus.
And the 2017 findings revealed, too, that once a company’s reputation slips, it is hard for it to fight back up the rankings.
“From capital markets to customer living rooms, your reputation – the integrity of your company, its products and its management – is your competitive advantage,” said Kim West, Partner and Chief Client Officer at NATIONAL’s Toronto office. “Yet, it’s highly perishable in a world where there is no cover.”
She said that transparency and honesty, taken together, are the key drivers of reputation.
Christian echoed Kim’s perspective: “We need to be mindful as we manage reputations of companies in Canada. It is tougher and tougher to maintain the reputation we once had.”
No event can be complete without mention of “millennials” – and Christian delivered on that, noting that although millennials are a unique demographic, their thinking aligns with the Gen Xers and baby boomers.
Google tops the charts as the most admired company among millennials followed by Shoppers Drug Mart. Netflix, however, comes in third with Dollarama occupying the fourth spot, followed by Microsoft, Tim Hortons, Sony, Costco, Canadian Tire and Staples.