Amazon squeaks past Apple as most reputable U.S. company

Among 60 major companies, Amazon grabbed the top spot for reputation, followed by Apple, Walt Disney, and Google.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Amazon is the most reputable company in the U.S, at least according to the results of a new Harris poll.

Released today, the 2013 Harris Poll Reputation Quotient measured the reputations of the most prominent companies in the United States based on the opinions of more than 14,000 people. The poll analyzed companies based on six criteria: social responsibility; emotional appeal; financial performance; products and services; vision and leadership; and workplace environment.

Amazon came out first in emotional appeal and products and services, and was among the top five companies in the other four categories. The retail giant scored a grade of 82.62 out of 100, the fifth year in a row in which it earned a rating of 80 or higher.

"Our results show that Amazon has managed to build an intimate relationship with the public without being perceived as intrusive," Robert Fronk, executive vice president of Reputation Management at Harris Interactive, said in a statement. "And as the company that is so widely known for its personal recommendations, more than 9 in 10 members of the public would recommend Amazon to friends and family."

In second place, Apple took home top honors in financial performance and vision and leadership. Its rating of 82.54 was just below Amazon's score but several points behind last year's mark of 85.62. With a score of 81.32, Google took fourth place, a decline from last year when it was in second place and the previous year when it was tops on the list.

Harris Interactive

Still, the results show a trend for certain tech players. The technology sector itself is the highest-ranked industry for reputation. Companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google are able to soak up their industry's reputation and then transcend it, according to Harris. Along the way, they move from just tech players into more multifaceted businesses.

What other technology companies made the list?

Sony was No. 8, Samsung No. 11, and Microsoft No. 15. Other tech firms among the Top 60 included Dell, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Verizon, AT&T, Best Buy, and Facebook. But Microsoft, IBM, Best Buy, and HP also showed a decline in their reputation rankings from last year.

Conducted from November 13 to November 30, 2012, the poll received responses from 14,512 people in the U.S.