Consumers love Samsung, but don't trust Apple or Facebook

A new consumer survey ranks Samsung as the "most reputable" tech company in the world, while both Facebook and Apple scored poorly.

Judging by its huge sales numbers and unrivaled consumer interest in its products, you'd think that no company in the tech arena was more beloved than Apple. Think again. It turns out Samsung is the "most reputable" tech company in the world, at least according to a recent survey of more than 5000 consumers.

Reputation Institute has studied consumer attitudes for more than a decade, and in its ranking it considers seven categories that measure customers' "emotional connections" to brands or companies. Of the 50 tech companies ranked in the 2015 U.S. Technology RepTrak report, Samsung lead the pack, while Apple ranked twenty-first and Facebook came in thirty-ninth.

After Samsung, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Google and software maker SAP, received the highest "pulse scores," or composite ratings that take into account products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership, and financial performance.

Intel, the giant chipmaker, received the highest rating for its products and services, and the company was sixth in the overall ranking of tech companies. This is somewhat surprising because very few consumers buy microprocessors on their own -- they come installed in computers and other products. Perhaps Intel simply won over consumers with its massive marketing budget and catchy "Intel Inside" campaign.

What about Apple and Facebook?

Its poor rating doesn't have much to do with the popularity of the iPhone compared to Samsung's Galaxy phones. Both sell very well. Apple's relatively low popularity score is related to factors other than its products, according to Brad Hecht, Reputation Institute's chief researcher. "Apple is not perceived as a company that is open, authentic and looking out for the interests of its customers," Hecht says.

During the past five years, Reputation Institute's survey participants have put more and more weight on factors such as good corporate citizenship and governance, meaning a company "behaves ethically and is open and transparent in its business dealings." How companies treat their workers is also an important factor, and Apple's reputation is still suffering from the high-profile labor scandal at Foxconn, the Chinese company that manufacturers iPhones and iPads. Though that was a number of years ago, and Apple has since taken steps to improve working conditions, socially conscious consumers haven't forgotten the incidents, Hecht says.

However, Apple acts more responsibly in some areas than it gets credit for, according to Hecht. All of its data centers are powered by green energy, for example, but the company doesn't actively publicize many of its eco initiatives.

Samsung, on the other hand, scores very well in categories related to corporate citizenship in addition to its high ratings in product categories.

It's not surprising that Facebook scored poorly in the company's survey. Facebook's constant incursions on user privacy, and its penchant for making unpopular changes to the user experience -- forcing customers to use a separate Messenger app, for example -- have damaged its reputation.

The results of the survey should be heartening. If consumers are becoming more conscious of companies' economic and societal impacts, that awareness could lead to improvements in corporate behavior, even if the motives for change are hardly altruistic.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Disruption Down Under – What’s Amazon’s real competitive advantage?

Savvy shoppers wait in anticipation, while Australian retailers are gearing up for the onslaught. Amazon’s arrival is imminent.

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve

Traditionally the non-executive board of a company acts in an advisory capacity - attending monthly board meetings to offer overarching advice and guidance typically focusing on:

Jodie Sangster

CEO, ADMA

The most desirable customers you’ve overlooked

“What will really move the needle?” This is a question that keeps leaders awake at night. And at the intersection of some of their top priorities – finding pockets of growth, redefining the customer experience, and making an emotional impact – lies a latent market: Their diverse customers.

Really inspiring !

Hello Goldenboy Media

Jaywing sets sights on Australian growth with digital and data-driven agency model

Read more

Being aware of regulations or guidlines is just the start. As our CEO Emma Lo Russo stated exactly two weeks ago at an event we supported...

Alan Smith

​Are the Wild West days of influencer collaboration over?

Read more

Rebranding is always nice solution to get better organisation. Businessman may apply certain special services (for example, https://www.l...

David Hill

CMO interview: Spearheading the global rebranding of OFX

Read more

Thank you so much for sharing this article.Top Digital Marketing company in Bangalore

Way To DM

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Thanks for the great article Jodie, agree many boards and senior execs are operating in outdated modes, just as we need some reverse soci...

sharyn

Change across the board: Why boards need to digitally evolve - Data-driven marketing - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in