Company Profile – Executive Summary

Company Impressions – Executive Summary

Apple and Amazon are named by respondents as the most admired companies they have heard or read about, in any industry. Google was close behind, with Microsoft rounding out the top four companies (see Most Admired Companies).

These results are based on a national online survey of 1,030 American adults conducted by Researchscape from September 8 to 30, 2012. Respondents were asked to name, without prompting, the company they admired the most and the company they admired the second most.

Consumer impressions of OverviewRespondents were then asked to provide the one word that came to mind for the following 11 companies (see Words Describing Companies).

Amazon in a Word: ‘Convenient’, ‘Great’, ‘Efficient’ – Amazon is in a class by itself, tying for the most admired company but with the highest positive sentiment and lowest negative sentiment of any of the companies studied (see Sentiment towards Companies). Customer satisfaction with Amazon exceeds that of any other online retailer, according to ACSI LLC.

Apple in a Word: ‘Innovative’, ‘Expensive’, ‘Overpriced’ – While many Americans admire Apple (it ties with Amazon as the most admired company), it has strong negatives as well. The most frequent negative terms were about perceived high prices and about fanatical Apple customers.

Barnes & Noble in a Word: ‘Books’, ‘Outdated’, ‘Expensive’ – Consumers have a mixed view of Barnes & Noble. Many view it as a relic, while others appreciate the comfort of a traditional reseller—few associate it first with e-books or its Nook e-book readers.

Dell in a Word: ‘Computers’, ‘Cheap’, ‘Old’ – As many consumers use positive terms to describe Dell as use negative terms. Many see the company being left behind, and respondents have conflicting views on its product quality.

Google in a Word: ‘Innovative’, ‘Search’, ‘Awesome’ – Google was the third-most admired company with the second-highest proportion of positive descriptions. Younger respondents rated Google even more positively than older respondents. Google has led the all other Internet portals and search engines in customer satisfaction since 2002, according to ACSI LLC.

Hewlett-Packard in a Word: ‘Printers’, ‘Old’, ‘Computers’ – Hewlett-Packard has a very staid, established image. When asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about HP, respondents gave product categories as two of the three most mentioned terms.

HTC in a Word: ‘Phones’, ‘Unknown’, ‘Innovative’ – Almost half of respondents have little impression of HTC, saying they were unfamiliar with the company or merely naming its participation in the cellphone industry. HTC was the only company with the plurality of responses being neutral. Impressions didn’t vary by gender or age.

Microsoft in a Word: ‘Windows’, ‘Monopoly’, ‘Software’ – When people think of Microsoft, they think of the Microsoft Windows software monopoly. Microsoft was the fourth most admired company in any industry, markedly behind Apple, Amazon and Google, yet markedly ahead of all other companies.

Nintendo in a Word: ‘Fun’ and ‘Games’ – When asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about Nintendo, 291 respondents chose fun – almost twice the highest frequency of any other company (see Word Ownership by Company). Surprisingly, Nintendo’s appeal didn’t vary by age or gender – both young and old viewed the company about equally positively, as did males and females.

Samsung in a Word: ‘Quality’, ‘Televisions’, ‘Phones’ – Samsung is known primarily for its quality products, and its 2012 struggles with Apple have made only a minor dent in consumer perceptions of the firm.

Sony in a Word: ‘Quality’, ‘PlayStation’, ‘Television’ – Sony is seen as a quality, contemporary brand, if a bit expensive.