Reptrak 2021 20222

Bord Bia tops the Ireland RepTrak® 2021 study of 100 organisations

The Reputations Agency has today announced the results of the Ireland RepTrak® 2021 study. The 12th annual study of the reputational standing of Ireland’s 100 largest, most important, and most visible organisations was undertaken between January and March 2021 and identified the organisations and sectors that the Irish public believes have performed best during the Covid-19 pandemic. The results were revealed during a virtual thought leadership event hosted this morning by The Reputations Agency titled “Reputational Leadership Post Pandemic: The CEO View” and attended by a C-Suite audience of close to 200 people.

Ireland RepTrak® 2021 Study
The twelfth annual Ireland RepTrak® 2021 study, the largest and longest running study of reputation in Ireland, is based on the perceptions of over 6,500 members of the public and was completed between 21st January and 29th March 2021. The study measures the level of trust, respect, admiration and esteem the public has for 100 organisations in Ireland, along with close to 100 other reputation and brand indicators.

Most reputed Irish organisations:








Bord Bia



Mater Private Network



Credit Unions






An Post






St. Vincent’s Private Hospital






Boots Ireland





Bord Bia took the top spot overall as the most reputable organisation in Ireland with an Excellent Reputation Pulse score of 85.1, for their role in bringing Ireland’s outstanding food, drink, and horticulture to the world, thus enabling the growth and sustainability of producers in Ireland. Bord Bia was ranked in first place for Standing Behind its Products - in the case of Bord Bia, standing behind the producers of Ireland and supporting them in reaching global markets. The public also rated Bord Bia as being amongst the leaders in Working for society, Improving the lives of people and their communities, and Being committed to changing the world for the better.

The Credit Unions was recognised at the second most reputable organisation overall, credited with being a cornerstone of local communities with over 3.6 million members, committed to their local communities with the public acknowledging the trust that members place in their local credit union and their friendly, understanding and people focused approach. The Credit Unions were placed first in Governance and in Citizenship – two important drivers of reputation.

An Post was recognised as the third most reputable organisation overall, acknowledged for reacting quickly to the needs of the public when the pandemic broke, for Improving the lives of people in their community and for Acting to protect their employees, customers, and society as a whole. An Post was placed amongst the top three for running a Fair, open, transparent and ethical business, for its work in Protecting the environment and for Offering equal opportunities to its 9,000 strong workforce.

Products & Services moved just ahead of Governance as the number one driver of an organisation’s reputation, with Citizenship taking third place out of seven key drivers of reputation. Close to one fifth (19%) of an organisation’s reputation is derived from perceptions of high quality, reliable and good value products while close to another fifth (18.5%) is derived from perceptions of being ethical, fair, open, and transparent in the way an organisation does business.

The average Reputation Pulse score increased by 2.8 points in Ireland this year, mirroring a global increase and teaching us that reputation is constantly evolving and that even in the toughest times, it is important to measure an organisation’s reputation, and to continue to communicate, protect and build reputation, adapting quickly to new environments. Pride in Irish indigenous organisations increased average Reputation Pulse score by close to four points, with a five-point increase in Innovation, but with increases in Citizenship, Governance and Workplace scores also driving this increase. For the first time in 12 years, the reputation of the 53 Irish indigenous organisations (average 71.6) overtook the 47 multinationals organisations (average 70.9) that were studied.

The leaders in the seven drivers of reputation were:
1. Leadership – Microsoft Ireland
2. Performance – Microsoft Ireland
3. Products & Services – Boots Ireland
4. Innovation – Google
5. Governance – Credit Unions
6. Citizenship – Credit Unions
7. Workplace – St Vincent’s Private Hospital

An analysis of which brand personality traits were most closely correlated with Reputation found that Friendly (Credit Unions placed first), Hard-working (PwC placed first), Genuine (Credit Unions placed first), Exciting (BMW placed first) and Caring (Bon Secours Health System placed first) were the most highly correlated. Tourism Ireland emerged as the most Charming, An Garda Siochana the most Courageous, Google the most Imaginative, The Irish Times the most Insightful, Pfizer the most Intelligent and IRFU the most Patriotic and Spirited amongst the 100 organisations that we studied.

The public were six times more likely to purchase from an organisation with a Strong reputation (50% of the public) than a Poor reputation (just 8%) and ten times more likely to purchase from one with an Excellent Reputation (77%), clearly showing how reputation links directly with levels of stakeholder support.

According to Niamh Boyle, Managing Director, The Reputations Agency:

“This is the twelfth year of our annual Ireland RepTrak study, replicating the global study carried out by our global partners The RepTrak Company. We have been positioning reputation as a critical component in business intelligence since our foundation in 2004. This is now a premier event in the Irish business calendar, and we have developed long standing relations in Ireland, serving over 60 clients and producing close to 300 custom Reputation reports for our clients across 15 markets. Many of our clients have significantly improved their reputation in that period and our results are regularly reported at board level. “

“This year we focused on leadership as a driver of corporate reputation. Leaders can be an important conduit for enterprises to communicate and build reputation. A leader who can communicate openly, authentically, and transparently can help win the hearts and minds of their stakeholders.”

“Over the years we have developed many tailored leadership communications strategies for our clients, supporting them in building reputable, prosperous, and sustainable businesses. The requirement for the senior leadership team to communicate, not just about financial performance, but to provide a clear and compelling corporate vision is becoming more and more important. “

Speaking on their success in securing first place in the Ireland RepTrak® 2021 study, Tara McCarthy, CEO, Bord Bia commented:

“We are very proud to have topped the Ireland RepTrak 2021 study following what has been an incredibly challenging year for our industry, business and our stakeholders. This result is a testament to their resilience, and we are delighted that it has been recognised by the public. We believe our commitment to sustainable food production has delivered real innovation and shown leadership in the sector this year, ensuring the continued success of the Irish food and drink industry we are so proud to represent at home and abroad. Our reputation is inextricably linked to the hard work and commitment of tens of thousands of farmers and food producers across the country who have helped to build trust and confidence in Irish food.”

Covid Study Q1 2021
Keen to understand the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on the perceptions of organisations in Ireland, the study asked the public whether their perception of certain organisations which had an important role during Covid had improved or declined during the pandemic. Perceptions around the work carried out by Healthcare professional improved the most, with Pharmacies and An Post overtaking the HSE since our previous Covid study in April 2020.

The Covid study revealed that the top ten organisations and sectors leading the response to Covid-19 were:

1. Healthcare professionals - remaining in first place since April 2020
2. Pharmacies/chemists – up from third place in April 2020
3. An Post – up from fifth place in April 2020
4. HSE – down from second place in April 2020
5. An Garda Síochána – up from sixth place in April 2020
6. SMEs – up from 10th place in April 2020
7. Public transport providers – up from 8th place in April 2020
8. The Irish army – up from 12th place in April 2020
9. Society in general – down from seventh place in April 2020
10. The Irish Government - down from fourth place in April 2020
Amid volatile pandemic surges and uncomfortable government responses, many sectors and organisations rose to the challenge, bringing their distinctive capabilities to bear during the crisis, while the perception of others fell. In Q1 2021 the public were hugely concerned with four in five believing that Covid was an economic risk for Ireland, 20% more than those concerned about the economic risk of Brexit.

Ireland RepTrak® Rankings by Sector
The eighteen sectors studied in 2021 were ranked as follows:

Excellent Reputation Tier
1. Private Hospital Sector (Reputation Pulse Score 81.1 – new sector in 2021)

Strong Reputation Tier
2. Retail Food (77.8 – up 3.2 points)
3. Food & Beverage (76.5 – up 4.3 points)
4. Automotive (76.2 – up 2.3 points)
5. Healthcare (75.8 - up 4 points)
6. Semi State Commercial (73.9 – up 4.3 points)
7. Public Service Bodies (72.6 – up 3 points)
8. Energy – Retail (72.5 – up 2.9 points)
9. Infrastructure (70.8 – up 4.1 points)
10. Financial Insurance (70.4 – up 2.9 points)
11. Retail General (70.1 – up 0.8 points)

Average Reputation Tier
12. Retail Forecourt (68.8 – up 1.3 points)
13. Airlines & Aerospace (68.3 – up 2 points)
14. Financial – Banks (68.3 - up 5 points)
15. Communications - Technology (66.2 – down 1.4 points)
16. Communications - Media (65.2 - down 1.6 points)
17. Professional Services (64.4 – up 0.7 points)
18. Sporting Bodies (62.3 – up 2.8 points)

About the Ireland RepTrak 2021 study
The Ireland RepTrak® 2021 study surveyed a representative sample of over 6,500 members of the public aged 18-64 throughout the Republic of Ireland between 21st January and 29th March 2021, measuring their perceptions of 100 of the largest, most familiar, and most important organisations in Ireland, across eighteen sectors. Companies are ranked on a Reputation Pulse score from 0-100 and are grouped as Excellent (80+), Strong (70-79), Average (60-69), Weak (40-59) or Poor (Below 40).

In this study, we rank organisations by their RepTrak® Pulse score, which is the basis of the ranking and measures the strength of the emotional bond between an organisation and the public, based on the results of four statements that test the level of esteem, admiration, trust, and good feeling.

About The Reputations Agency
The Reputations Agency is a strategic reputation, communications, and public relations agency that audits, builds, and activates brand, purpose, and reputation strategies. The agency is part of the Wunderman Thompson Group of Agencies in Ireland and the exclusive Irish Associate to The RepTrak Company.

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