Swiss watch brand Rolex has topped a ranking of the world’s most reputable brands for a third year in a row. Rolex beat Danish toy firm Lego for the top spot, while Swiss food manufacturer Nestlé jumped 21 places to rank 33rd.
The Reputation Institute compiled the list in its annual Global RepTrack 100external link, after asking more than 230,000 people in 15 countries to rank some of the world’s biggest companies based on criteria such as ethical standards, transparency and product value.
Commenting to Forbes magazine about Rolex, Reputation Instituteexternal link Chief Research Officer Stephen Hahn-Griffiths said: “It’s a company that has put all its effort on redefining winning”. Part of that winning formula is having clean-cut Swiss tennis player Roger Federer as a brand ambassador as he keeps racking up titles and records.
The 'Swissness' - or 'Made in Switzerland' - brand also continues to attract plaudits from global consumers, according to a study put together by the University of St Gallen and Jung von Matt/brand identity in 2016. Despite dropping to second place behind German goods, Swissness continues to enjoy a good reputation – especially in China, Russia, India and Brazil.
A company’s reputation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, and can be influenced by whom you ask, when, and the basis for comparison.
The Swiss public rated Rolex as the 70th most esteemed organisation in the country, according to a Public Value Atlasexternal link survey compiled last year. In this survey, the watchmaker was being compared with public service institutions, such as the air rescue service Rega. However, it still lagged behind respected commercial firms that have a high profile in Switzerland, but are not so relevant abroad.
Two companies that were ranked higher than Rolex in this report, Raiffeisen bank and Swiss Post, have since become mired in scandals that were not known when the Public Value Atlas rankings were compiled.