Woolies boosts reputation, Vodacom’s takes a dive – survey

2014-05-14 13:44

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The reputation of retailer Woolworths strengthened this year while other companies fared poorly, the Reputation Institute has said.

“The 2014 survey shows that Woolworths is in a league of its own. Its success comes in an environment in which South African corporate companies are suffering a bloodbath in their reputations,” the institute’s Africa partner, Dominik Heil, said today.

“Woolworths has managed to break out of this logic because it has a sound stakeholder management strategy. It demonstrates that engaging with stakeholders is not a loss exercise.”

Woolworths’ reputation strengthened from 73.98 last year to 74.31 points this year. It was also the only company to score above 70 points.

Last year’s top company, Vodacom, fared poorly this year and dropped 9.35 points.

The institute carries out the national RepTrak® Pulse survey annually and is in its ninth year in South Africa.

It measures the reputation of the largest listed South African companies based on revenue and commercial activities.

Mining companies and financial institutions were included in the survey, but performed poorly. Standard Bank moved up marginally, from 68.5 in 2013 to 68.77 this year.

First National Bank dropped 9.08 points from last year while Nedbank and Absa dropped 4.18 points and 4.39 points respectively.

Trevor Ndlazi, the institute’s South African manager, said the biggest driver of reputation in South Africa this year was products and services.

“Product and services, citizenship, financial performance and innovation explain almost 60% of reputation, while workplace, governance and leadership made up just under 40% of what drives reputation this year,” he said.

“What is needed is a new model of doing business or for companies to take actions that regain the trust of consumers.”

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