• How does Coca-Cola manage a top reputation?

    The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study is an extensive research that polls more than 18,000 people to gauge how they perceive the status of 60 prominent brands in the United States. 

    In 2014 the coveted top five positions went to Amazon, Coca-Cola, Apple, Walt Disney and Honda Motors. These companies ranked highly in all six dimensions consumer behaviour is measured against,  which are emotional appeal, financial performance, products and services, social responsibility, vision and leadership, and workplace environment.

    This raises a key question – how does a company create a strong corporate reputation?

    Perhaps a starting point is to understand that perception management is as much an art as it is a science.

    If there is someone who can offer key insights into this subject, it is Senior Vice President of Reputation Management and Public Affairs for Nielsen, Robert Fronk. 

    In an interview with Fast Company, he said reputation is built over time, and it is only through "committed behaviours" that a company can build a positive impression in people's minds. 

    In the Harris Poll, a score of 80 or above represents excellent reputation. Coca-Cola has maintained a score in this range for the 1999 to 2014. According to the report, the company has a "nearly unmatched show of reputation consistency".

    The soft drink manufacturer also came out on top in the financial performance category. 

    Mr Fronk says this is because Coca-Cola has engaged in several measures that help people believe in their strong financial position. 

    "It invests money in its communities and has strong product development – things that lead people to believe they're maintaining strong profitability," he added. 

    He explained, by adopting a model of story telling instead of the usual corporate communications model, Coca-Cola now operates like a media company. 

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