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26 May 2006 - London, UK . A new corporate reputation* study by TNS has named Nokia top out of 21 household companies. When assessed on its business success, trustworthiness and product / service quality, almost 50 per cent of consumers rated it highly in each of these areas. Just four per cent of those surveyed did not rate Nokia favourably on all three issues.

The study interviewed 2,000 people in the UK about their views of the corporate reputation of major household brands covering the financial, retail, technology and energy sectors. Behind Nokia, Google is ranked in 2nd place with John Lewis and Asda in 3rd and 4th place respectively. Marks & Spencer and Tesco are named joint 5th.

Other top line findings show:

■ Of the 21 companies in the study, Marks & Spencer, Asda and Nokia are considered to be the three most trustworthy companies. 64 per cent of consumers rate Marks & Spencer as a brand you could 'definitely' or 'probably' trust in the long term. Ranked in second and third place are Asda (56 per cent of people said you could 'definitely' or 'probably' trust the company) and Nokia (52 per cent).

Tesco, Nokia and Google are ranked as the most successful brands. 56 per cent of people rate Tesco as having 'excellent' or 'very good' financial success. This compares with 52 per cent of people who rate Nokia and 49per cent who rate Google as delivering ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’ financial success.

■  M&S was rated as offering the best quality product or service to consumers – 47 per cent, of people say the product or service is 'excellent' or 'very good'. This compares with Google (44 per cent) and Nokia (43 per cent) in second and third place.

■ Companies in the retail sector are rated as having the best corporate reputation among the four sectors surveyed - 37 per cent of respondents rate the overall reputation of retail companies as 'excellent' or 'very good’.

■ This compares with 25 per cent who rate the reputation of companies in the technology sector as 'excellent' or 'very good', and just 17 per cent who rate high street banks at this level.

■ Energy providers perform most poorly out of the four sectors with just 9per cent of people rating their overall reputation positively.

Rosemary Bayman, Head of Stakeholder Management at TNS in the UK said: “Most service providers work hard to meet the demands of their customers, but customers are much more likely to remember and talk about negative incidents rather than positive ones. Word-ofmouth coupled with a natural suspicion among consumers and the media about excessive profits creates a negative climate. This means that utility, financial and telecoms companies alike face an uphill struggle in gaining a positive corporate reputation.

“A clear focus on the customer helps to build better emotional and functional ties with the public. This is the common link between the differing strategies of John Lewis, where customer service is paramount; Nokia, whose focus is on innovative, iconic products and Google, where creativity and equal access to information is prized. A company that puts customer needs first will be able to win the general public’s trust on the emotional side, and a belief in its competence on the rational side.”

* The corporate reputation of each company was determined by measuring people’s views on five different dimensions of reputation - trust, favourability, business success, product / service quality and overall reputation.

Notes to editor:

The research was conducted in March and April 2006 using TNS Omnimas, a weekly face to face omnibus comprising 2,000 nationally representative interviews among GB adults (aged 16+). The study was developed by the Stakeholder Management department of TNS UK Custom to rank the corporate reputation of 21 household companies. Brands included in the study are:

Barclays, BT, Asda, British Gas, HSBC, Google, John Lewis, EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB, Nokia, M&S, npower, Nationwide, O2, Starbucks, Powergen, Natwest, Orange, Tesco, Scottish Power, Vodafone.

About TNS:

TNS is a market information group:

· The world’s largest provider of custom research and analysis
· A leader in political and social polling
· A major supplier of consumer panel, media intelligence and TV and radio audience measurement services.

TNS operates across a global network in over 70 countries, allowing us to provide internationally consistent, up-to-the-minute and high quality information and analysis. The group’s employees deliver innovative thinking and excellent service to local and multinational clients worldwide. In the custom business, they combine in-depth sector knowledge with expertise in the areas of new product development, positioning and segmentation research, brand and advertising research and stakeholder management.

TNS’ strategic goal is to be recognised as the global leader in delivering value added information and insights that help our clients to make more effective decisions. TNS is the sixth sense of business.

For more information please contact:

Liz Kearney, Camargue
Tel: 020 7636 7366 or email:

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