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The 10 Most-Respected Corporate Brands

The 10 Most-Respected Corporate Brands

Public respect for a corporate brand fluctuates based on any number of factors, from management changes to product offerings, which is why branding consultancy CoreBrand releases an annual report about the most- and least-respected publicly-traded companies.

CoreBrand measures the level of respect based on both familiarity and favorability. Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL), Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL) and PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) all made the cut this year, but was it for the most- or least-respected rankings?

One sector topped the winner's list: Consumer Staples. Four of the top respected brands are in the consumer staples sector, and they snagged the top three spots plus ninth. 

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) and PepsiCo tied for first place, but both companies have a deficit in their “Perception of Management" attribute, suggesting that people view leadership at both companies as not effectively addressing challenges from the healthy foods movement. Despite that, reputation and investment potential for both brands maintain higher levels, the report says, meaning that consumers still believe investing in either brand will offer good returns.

Hershey (NYSE: HSY) came in third place, and Kellogg (NYSE: K) was in ninth.


There are three new entrants on the 10 best-brand list from the technology sector, but they aren't new companies. IBM (NYSE: IBM) took seventh place, while Apple took eighth and General Electric (NYSE: GE) snagged the tenth place spot.

The addition of IBM and GE companies to the top-ten list this year might suggest that brand respect increases for more seasoned leading companies in the midst of the current economic crisis, the report says.

Related Link: 5 Companies That Are Empowering Women Apple's eighth place spot was quite a jump from being in the eighteenth last year. There is a lag in the “Perception of Management” ranking for Apple, and the report implies that this is most likely because of scrutiny of governance within the company after the death of former CEO Steve Jobs.

Regardless, the report says it expects to see Apple to continue to emerge as an “economy-leading” brand.

Healthcare And Pharmaceuticals

Although the report doesn't go into detail about about them, Bayer (XETRA: BAYN) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) took the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. Both companies are more than 100 years old, so they each have had a good amount of time to establish and develop their brands.

The stock price for each company is also sitting comfortable around the $100-mark. Their high rankings may reflect the lean toward seasoned leading companies during crisis that the report flagged for IBM and GE. Another century-old company that made the top 10 list was motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson (NYSE: HOG).

CoreBrand's 2014 Most-Respected Brands

1. Coca-Cola

2. PepsiCo

3. Hershey

4. Bayer

5. Johnson & Johnson

6. Harley-Davidson

7. IBM

8. Apple

9. Kellogg

10. General Electric

Bonus: Least-Respected Brands

Delta Airlines tops the list of least-respected brands. According to the report, issues hurting Delta are the same ones that all airlines face. While most airline brands are well known, the report says, they are not well liked. Here's a list the full list of least-respected brands:

  1. 1. Delta Airlines (NYSE: DAL)
  2. 2. H&R Block (NYSE: HRB)
  3. 3. Big Lots (NYSE: BIG)
  4. 4. Denny's (NASDAQ: DENN)
  5. 5. Best Buy (NYSE: BBY)
  6. 6. Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD)
  7. 7. J.C. Penney (NYSE: JCP)
  8. 8. Capital One Financial (NYSE: COF)
  9. 9. Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO)
  10. 10. Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S)

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