Companies that improved their reputations in the eyes of the public from 1999 to 2000 also increased their market value, according to a study by Harris Interactive and The Reputation Institute.

Firms with reputation ratings that increased last year experienced an average eight percent increase in market value, while firms with reputation ratings that declined experienced a 28 percent decrease in market value, according to the study.

“We know that reputation matters, and now our work with The Reputation Institute is proving it,” said Gordon S. Black, chairman and CEO of Harris Interactive.

So what goes into a corporate reputation? The study asked the public, consumers, employees, boycotters, and general investors to rate the most visible companies in the U.S. on these factors:

1) Emotional Appeal

  • Have a good feeling about the company.

  • Admire and respect the company.

  • Trust the company a great deal.

    2) Products & Services

  • Stands behind its products and services.

  • Develops innovative products and services.

  • Offers high quality products and services.

  • Offers products and services that are a good value for the money.

    3) Financial Performance

  • Has a strong record of profitability.

  • Looks like a low-risk investment.

  • Looks like a company with strong prospects for future growth.

  • Tends to out-perform its competitors.

    4) Vision & Leadership

  • Has excellent leadership.

  • Has a clear vision for its future.

  • Recognizes and takes advantage of market opportunities.

    5) Workplace Environment

  • Is well-managed.

  • Looks like a good company to work for.

  • Looks like a company that would have good employees.

    6) Social Responsibility

  • Supports good causes.

  • Is an environmentally responsible company.

  • Maintains high standards in the way it treats people.