Corporate Reputation Index 2024

Toyota goes to top place in Kantar Corporate Reputation Index

Toyota New Zealand has lived up to its advertising slogan “let’s go places” by going three places up from last year to take top slot in the tenth annual Kantar Corporate Reputation Index.

Pak’nSave climbed one place to second, with Air New Zealand in third, displaced from the number one slot for the first time in the history of the index.

Established in collaboration with Wright Communications in 2015, the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index employs Kantar’s globally validated RepZ framework, comprising reputation attributes of Trust (35% weighting), Leadership/Success (25%), Fairness (23%), and Responsibility (16%).

The survey, conducted during February and March 2024, rates public perceptions of New Zealand’s top 50 consumer facing corporates and other qualifiers.

Toyota scored 111 in the RepZ index up three from last year with Pak’nSave on 110 and Air New Zealand, Mitre 10 (second last year) and Bunnings (sixth last year) all on 108. AA Insurance, Lotto, TVNZ and Kmart were close behind all with scores of 107.

Kantar Insights Chief Client Officer Sarah Bolger said Toyota had continued its upward trajectory in both the Trust and Fairness pillars since 2022 and achieved a high score in leadership/success.

“Trust is the biggest driver of reputation followed by Leadership. Toyota topped the Trust pillar just ahead of Air New Zealand with both on 113 for that attribute. Pak’nSave, in second place overall, continued its dominance of the Fairness pillar with a score of 122, just ahead of Kmart on 121.

“Strong performing companies are mindful of the issues and concerns held by the public and address them in an authentic way.

“Toyota has won an underlying sense of trust from New Zealanders. People see it as a brand that will see them right, plus it has a voice on important global issues. When times are tough, leaders with vision navigate adversity rather than respond to it. Our research shows people trust leaders who show powerful, innovative, transformative leadership rather than transactional leadership.

“Foodstuffs brands Pak’nSave and New World (which came tenth), are working to offer value in these economically challenging times. Smart shoppers are looking for value to make their dollars go further.”

Toyota New Zealand CEO Neeraj Lala said topping the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index meant an enormous amount to everyone who represents the Toyota brand in Aotearoa.

“We strive day in and out to earn the trust of Kiwis in every interaction. This recognition is a testament to our focus on customer service excellence, ensuring mobility for all, and supporting the communities we operate in.

“Our dedication to maintaining local ownership and serving our communities is central to our purpose. We are deeply embedded in communities across the country, through our 60 Toyota stores – all Toitū EnviroMark Gold certified – and Toyota Signature Class refurbishing centre in Thames.

“Our local stores all get behind community groups and initiatives that promote physical and mental health, local conservation causes, and more. Nationally we are strategically focused on youth driver safety training.”

Foodstuffs New Zealand Managing Director Chris Quin said the result is fantastic for the PAK’nSAVE team as, despite negative commentary on the grocery sector, it shows the value of staying focused on the customer.

“Our policy is New Zealand’s lowest food prices and with high-cost inflation and weather disasters that’s been a challenge. We never stop looking for ways we can keep costs down so we can pass on savings. With the cost-of-living crisis and inflation biting into every aspect of our lives, the last few years have been hugely challenging for all New Zealanders.

“For PAK’nSAVE to rank first for fairness for eight consecutive years and to have moved up to second place overall in the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index, shows we’re making a difference.  Our hard-working PAK’nSAVE team are thrilled, especially Stickman who simply won’t stop going on about it.”

Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said he was humbled the airline had won Kantar’s 10 Year Award for consistently topping most reputation pillars over the period.

“Air New Zealand exists to enrich our country by connecting New Zealanders to each other and New Zealand to the world. Hardworking and dedicated Air New Zealanders come to work each day with that purpose and our success comes from helping New Zealanders succeed and thrive at home and overseas.”

Wright Communications Managing Director Nikki Wright said over the past decade the Kantar Corporate Reputation Index had become a crucial benchmark for understanding and evaluating the reputational strengths and weaknesses of companies operating in New Zealand.

“Corporate reputation has never been more important or more challenging. We have seen issues that have tested the resilience and integrity of corporations globally. From data breaches and privacy concerns to environmental accountability, from ethical labour practices to the rapid evolution of technology and AI ethics, the landscape of corporate reputation is continually evolving.”

This year’s survey included a section on how corporates communicate. Wright said the most trusted source of information about companies (trusted by 43% of New Zealanders) were independent articles and reviews in publications such as Canstar, Consumer NZ and Moneyhub.

The next most trusted sources were recommendations from friends or family (31%), Government-backed information sites (28%), expert opinions (27%) and consumer reviews (23%).

“Regardless of the source, independent, unbiased viewpoints and informed experience and expertise underpin trust across all age groups,” said Wright.

Sarah Bolger
Chief Client Director
[email protected]