Amazon Now Most Respected Firm In U.S.

The online retail company just shaded Apple, last year's winner, in the Harris Interactive report.

Amazon has become the most respected company in the U.S., according to Harris Interactive's RQ--that stands for Reputation Quotient-- report (PDF) The Internet retail firm beat both Google and last year's Number One, Apple, although only just. Final scores on the doors were 82.62 to the iFirm's 82.54, a difference of 0.8, if my math is correct.

Other interesting stuff in the report showed that Retail, Tech, and CPG, all of which have performed well in the recent downturn, were out-performed by cars and money, with both Auto and Financial Services, alongside the Energy sector, doing the best. The six most important attributes for 2013, said the report, are these: Vision and Leadership; Social responsibility; Emotional appeal; Financial performance; Products and services; Workplace environment (although here, one assumes the dudes at Harris Interactive didn't read last week's Financial Times long-read on life at an Amazon depot in the U.K.)

Amazon came top in two categories, Emotional Appeal, and Products and Services, and featured in the top five of five of the categories, with social responsibility being its one failing. But the result does seem somewhat surprising, given the size of the firm's profit margins--tiny, if its most recent results are to be believed--and, if you return to the social responsibility theme, its sheer size meaning it can flatten just about anything in its path, from high-street retailers to self-publishing authors, app developers and even tax systems. But it does give us sofa-dwelling, box set-watching, screen-tapping masses what we want, namely goods at cheap prices. So that's a good thing, right?

Do you think Amazon deserves the top spot of the Reputation Quotient for 2013, or are you surprised? Don't be a stranger to our comments, por favor.

[Image by Flickr user Akira Ohgaki]

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