Leger’s Reputation Study: The 2020 Ranking

Reputation is the only study that provides a comprehensive sector-by-sector analysis of the reputation of more than 300 companies in Canada, conducted with more than 30,000 Canadians.

Crises Experienced by a Few Companies Prompt Very Slight Slip in Overall Reputation Scores…

This year marks the 23rd year that Leger has measured reputation in Canada. We have analyzed the findings with our partner, McMaster University, and are pleased to report this year’s results.

Overall, the past year has seen a very slight slip in reputation scores, with a combined average drop in reputation of 1 point. Much of that drop is due to crises experienced by a few companies. For example, Desjardins’ reputation score dropped 9 points after their data privacy issues this past year. At the same time, Facebook, which was last year’s big decliner due to privacy issues, was able to slow their drop this year. While they have not yet recovered, their reputation dropped by only 1 point this year.

Boeing experienced the greatest drop in reputation this year: since last year, their reputation score dropped by 32 points due to the 737 Max aircraft recalls. Our 2019 Reputation Report showed that the 737 Max crisis resulted in an immediate drop of 22 reputation points for Boeing. Unlike other companies that have been able to recover or maintain their reputation in the past year, Boeing has dropped another 10 points since the crisis, giving them an overall negative reputation score (-7).

For some companies, though, this year has been about recovery. Last year, Canada Post’s Reputation score dropped 18 points due to strike action in fall 2018. Most of that reputation has been recovered (+15), but not all. Recovery takes time.

General Motors dropped 16 points after last year’s announcement of the Oshawa manufacturing plant closure. Time and a solid past reputation have helped with recovery, but they also have not recovered everything they lost yet (+10).

We also investigated some very interesting reputational results this year in the Cannabis industry. We rarely get a chance to study an entirely new business category and watch as the industry and individual companies build their reputation. In last year’s report, all cannabis companies that we tracked had an average reputation score of 6 shortly after cannabis was legalized. The past year has not been great for cannabis companies and with CannTrust’s illegal growing and a lacklustre investment return for all companies, the industry dropped 2 points to have a cumulative reputation score of 4 in this year’s report.

Right now, most eyes are on COVID-19 and how it will affect all organizations. We will monitor companies’ reactions to this crisis and its impacts on employees, customers and all stakeholders closely throughout the year. How will companies’ responses impact their reputation? We’ll find out in next year’s Reputation study.

Dave Scholz

Executive Vice-President, Leger

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