Apple has the best image of any other American company, according to Harris Interactive’s annual public opinion poll on corporate brands. After a hugely successful 2011 in which the technology giant reported record profits thanks largely to the continued success of the iPad 2 and introduction of the iPhone 4S, Apple’s score was the highest yet recorded by the survey. What CEO Tim Cook will find even more satisfying is the fact that the company toppled Google at the top, having fallen short of the search giant last year. Harris’s Executive VP Robert Fronk described Apple as the “pre-eminent American corporation right now.”
Unsurprisingly perhaps, the reputations of some of the nation’s financial firms fell dramatically, with AIG ranking last in the survey behind Goldman Sachs and Bank of America in a year where of the 12,961 people surveyed, 60% thought the broader reputation of U.S. companies was ‘sinking’ and only 9% believed it had improved. The technology sector, meanwhile, was said to be “distinguishing itself as the only industry with a mostly positive reception”. Coca-Cola Co., Amazon.com Inc and Kraft Foods Inc rounded out the top five.
Those who responded to the survey evaluated companies on six distinct qualities; leadership, financial performance, workplace environment, social responsibility, emotional appeal and the quality of products and services. Apple, which recorded a score of 85.62 on a scale of 100, scored well in product quality, profitability and environmental record. With the iPad 3 now reportedly due to be announced next month and the rumoured Apple-branded iTV just around the corner, it’ll take a significant force to knock the apple from the top of its tree.