Credit Unions top the Ireland RepTrak 2018 study of the most highly regarded organisations in Ireland

Reputation of organisations improves for second year, showing rise in levels of trust and confidence in Ireland, while globally trust declines.

RepTrak 2018 Winners

The Reputations Agency today announced the results of the annual Ireland RepTrak® 2018 study, the largest and longest running study of reputation in Ireland, now in its ninth year. Based on the perceptions of 7,094 members of the public who completed the survey between 5th January and 5th March 2018, the survey measures the level of trust, respect, admiration and esteem the public has for 100 of the largest, most familiar, and most important organisations in Ireland, along with 25 other reputation indicators. 

The top 10 companies in the Ireland RepTrak® 2018 study are:

  1. Credit Unions – 82.0
  2. Kellogg’s – 81.1
  3. Aldi – 80.2
  4. Bord Bia – 80.0
  5. Boots - 79.5
  6. Tourism Ireland – 79.1
  7. Toyota – 78.9
  8. An Post – 78.5
  9. Dublin Airport – 78.4
  10. Kerry Group – 77.7

This year's average reputation Pulse score was 66.0 compared to 64.4 in 2017, highlighting an increase in trust and confidence for organisations amongst the public.

New organisations included this year

The number of organisations studied increased from 50 organisations in 2017 to 100 organisations in 2018. New organisations studied include Communicorp (Communications–Media sector), Samsung (Communications–Technology), Energia (Energy-Retail), EirGrid and Gas Networks Ireland (Infrastructure) and the Olympic Council of Ireland (Sporting Bodies). Public bodies such as An Garda Siochána, the Central Bank of Ireland, and HSE (Public Service Bodies) were also included.

According to Niamh Boyle, Managing Director, The Reputations Agency: “Reputation scores rose in Ireland this year, while scores in major global markets such as the UK, US declined for the first time since the end of the recession, with a growing crisis of trust globally, and organisations increasingly judged on aspects of morality and ethics. In Ireland, positive economic indicators such as exports, GDP, FDI, wages, and consumer spending have helped to build trust, respect, esteem, and good feeling towards organisations.

“Reputation matters as strong reputations help to win customers, attract the right talent, gain support from key stakeholders, and ultimately drive business performance. We see this in the work we do with our clients in helping them to reach their business objectives. As an illustration, as we come close to reaching full employment in Ireland the war on talent is heating up and building a strong reputation and employer brand has become a key focus for organisations, particularly amongst millennials who care deeply about the reputations of the organisations they choose to work with.

“It’s essential for organisational leaders to have a deep understanding of what is driving their reputation. Armed with insights from this study an organisation can take steps to apply their efforts to the areas that most need to be addressed.

“Today, organisations are more widely scrutinised based on their alignment with social causes, how they behave, their organisational values and the internal culture they create. They are no longer solely measured on what they make or how they make it. The public are more attuned to the reputation of an organisation than ever before and, for the public, actions speak louder than words."

“The results in Ireland bode well for business as our study shows that if an organisation improves its reputation Pulse score by five points, the number of people willing to buy its products or services goes up by 4.5%, delivering a very positive business outcome.”

Credit Union takes top spot for the first time in nine years                                                                                     

The Credit Unions took the top spot overall as the most reputable organisation in Ireland with an Excellent Reputation Pulse score of 82.0 for their role in providing trusted financial services to local communities and being at the heart of communities in Ireland. Previous winners have included An Post, Bord Bia, and Google.

Aldi, Google, Toyota, and Lidl took top ten places in six of the seven dimensions of reputation – Products & Services, Innovation, Workplace, Governance, Citizenship, Leadership and Performance. These are the dimensions that are proven to be the pillars of an organisations reputation.

According to Charles Murphy, President, Irish League of Credit Unions:“With more than 3.6 million members throughout the island of Ireland, credit unions are a cornerstone of local communities. The trust that members place in their local credit union has been earned, and enhanced, by consistent actions that demonstrate a caring, understanding, people-focused approach. Credit union personnel take time to get to know their members and to understand their needs. Decisions are made at local level, in the best interest of the members of the credit union. Above all else, people feel valued and respected”.

Reputation drives business results

The study showed that consumers in Ireland are nine times more likely to purchase a product or service from an organisation, and seven times more likely to work for an organisation with an excellent reputation than one with a poor reputation. 82% of people in Ireland would say something positive about a company with an excellent reputation, while only 7% would do the same for a company with a poor reputation. Only 9% of people will buy from an organisation with a poor reputation, but this grows to 53% if the reputation is strong and increases to 80% if the reputation is excellent.

Ranking by Sector – Retail Food comes out on top

The reputational strength of the Retail Food sector came to the fore this year, with the strongest sectoral Reputation Pulse score of 72.7, demonstrating the players increased activity in reputation building strategies in a hugely competitive consumer facing sector.

The Financial Services Banking sector took the lowest slot with a weak score of 57.5, suggesting that much work needs to be done by this sector to regain the trust and confidence of the public.

The seventeen sectors studied in 2018 were ranked as follows:

  1. Retail Food (72.7 - Strong) 
  2. Automotive (72.0 - Strong)
  3. Food & Beverage (71.9 – Strong)
  4. Retail General (70.7 - Strong) 
  5. Healthcare (69.5 - Average)
  6. Semi-State Commercial (66.6- Average) 
  7. Retail Forecourt (65.9 – Average)
  8. Communications–Media (65.2 – Average)
  9. Public Service Bodies (64.8 – Average)
  10. Communications-Technology (64.4 – Average)
  11. Financial Insurance (64.1 – Average)
  12. Professional Services (63.4 – Average) 
  13. Energy-Retail (63.3 - Average) 
  14. Infrastructure (62.7 – Average)
  15. Airlines & Aerospace (62.6 – Average)
  16. Sporting Bodies (61.2 – Average)
  17. Financial – Banks (57.5 - Weak)




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