Johnson & Johnson in corporate reputation survey

In Harris Interactive’s 2002 Reputation Quotient (RQ) survey, which measured the corporate reputations of the most visible companies nationwide, Johnson & Johnson placed fist, while Harley-Davidson, new to the list, placed second. The study, which ranked 60 companies, also addressed the concepts of corporate sincerity, corporate citizenship and ethical standards.

Johnson & Johnson maintains its fist-place ranking for a consecutive fourth year with an RQ of 82.14. J&J is now the only company measured in the annual RQ that has achieved an RQ exceeding 80 points each year. Euron also sets the record for the lowest RQ ever recorded, at 26.22 in this survey.

Still ranked in the Top 10 were the Coca-Cola Company (3rd with an RQ of 78.95), Maytag Corporation (6th with an RQ of 78.50), and 3M Company (10th with an RQ of 77.90). Companies new to the annual RQ placing in the Top 10 in their inaugural year - Harley Davidson (80.68), General Mills (78.61), and Eastman Kodak (78.46). The Home Depot returned to the Top 10 (8th spot with an RQ of 78.24). UPS (4th) and Dell (9th) - both measured in previous years - entered the Top 10 for the first time in 2002.

Microsoft has ranked first in the Financial Performance dimension in each year of the study. In addition, Microsoft ranks 1st this year in the Vision and Leadership dimension overall, as well as on each of the three attributes that comprise this dimension. No other company surveyed dominated any of the other five reputational dimensions as Microsoft dominated this one.

Johnson & Johnson has ranked first in Product & Services and Emotional Appeal each year.

The majority of people perceived a year of reputation decline; nearly half (48 percent) said that the reputation of corporate America has declined "a lot" in the past year and another 31 percent said it has declined "a little." Only 14 percent saw stability, and even less than that (7 percent) reported seeing any improvement. When asked to characterize the reputation of corporate America today, less than 1 percent said "it’s great" and only one in five (19 percent) said "it’s good."

In an earlier study, the general public was asked to nominate companies with the "best" and "worst" reputations; the 60 companies with the most nominations were then measured in the Annual RQ 2002 survey to determine the rankings.

Enron was among the 14 companies new to the study, receiving the most nominations overall. Other notable additions to the list of 60 included Andersen Worldwide, Verizon Communications, PepsiCo, SBC Communications, Qwest Communications, Adelphia Communications, Global Crossing, J.C. Penney, General Mills, Merrill Lynch, Harley- Davidson, American Express and Eastman Kodak.

As in past years, the nominations phase for the 2002 study revealed that nominations do not tell the whole reputation story. Four of the Top 10 companies nominated in the "best" category also appeared on the Top 10 list in the "worst" category: Wal-Mart, Microsoft, Ford and AT&T.

This study of corporate reputation was carried out in two phases: a nomination phase from April 9 to September 3, 2002, and a rating phase from September 23 to October 16, 2002.

In the first phase, Harris Interactive conducted 4,007 online interviews and 4,055 telephone interviews throughout the United States. Both online and telephone surveys were conducted. All respondents were asked to nominate two companies that they felt have the best reputations overall and two companies that they felt have the worst reputations overall. Nominations were open-ended. Any nominations of wholly-owned subsidiaries or brands werecollapsed within the parent company (e.g., Ben & Jerry’s under Unilever). Companies with nominations that came predominantly from one region were classified as regional and were removed. Governmental agencies and departments were also removed. Harris Interactive made these adjustments because it wanted the study to focus on companies that report financial results and on companies that operate nationally, unlike some regional telecommunication and cable companies.

Harris Interactive then constructed a list of 60 companies named most often by the respondents in the first phase by summing the "best" and "worst" nominations for each company and rankordering the companies based on the total nominations. In the second phase, 22,521 randomly selected online respondents were asked to do a detailed rating of one or two companies with which they were "very" or "somewhat" familiar. Respondents rated companies on 20 attributes in six key dimensions: products and services, financial performance, workplace environment, social responsibility, vision and leadership, and emotional appeal.

Each of the 60 companies was rated by an average of 617 respondents. All data were weighted to be representative of the total U.S. adult population. Weighting variables for this study included demographic variables for age, sex, education, race, ethnicity, household income, and region; nondemographic variables (i.e., stakeholder status, and stated importance of the reputation dimensions to overall reputation); as well as a measure of one’s propensity to participate in online studies in order to project findings to the U.S. adult population. Finally, reputation quotient figures were calculated for each company to determine the rankings. Each company’s RQ is based on the respondents’ ratings of each company on the 20 attributes. The highest possible score is 100. Each RQ rating has an estimated sampling tolerance of+/- 1.5 percentage points. In comparing any two RQ scores, a difference of 1.96 percentage points would be considered significantly different at the 90 percent confidence level.

Asians consuming more dairy products

Asians are consuming more milk and other dairy products than ever before, according to findings from Taylor Nelson Sofres’ (TNS) Asiapanel. Revealing growth in the dairy sector to be strongest in China and Taiwan, the Asiapanel findings also reveal an Asia-wide trend in favor of liquid over powdered milk as the health benefits of drinking milk become increasingly acknowledged. Leading Asia in their consumption of dairy products are Japan and Korea with nearly all households having bought dairy or milk products in a given quarter. In contrast, Malaysia continues to be amongst the lowest consumer of dairy produce inAsia with little more than half its households (58 percent) purchasing any and just 74 percent purchasing milk.

Although not a country traditionally associated with consumption of dairy products, China’s burgeoning dairy market has seen double-digit year-on-year growth - particularly in sales of liquid milk. Standing at a penetration level of 90 percent, liquid milk outstripped all other beverage categories in terms of rate of growth across China’s major cities in 2001, with double the growth of the next most fastest growing beverage category, bottled water.

Interestingly, the premium priced category of yogurt and yogurt drinks emerged as a prevailing force in Asia’s dairy product market. The dominant sector within the Korean and Thai markets, yogurt and yogurt drinks were purchased by 85 percent and 75 percent of the population respectively in Q4 2001. In Taiwan, where 72 percent of households purchase dairy products, yogurt and yogurt drinks not only account for nearly one quarter (24 percent) of the total market for dairy products but also showed amongst the highest year-on-year growth for any grocery category in 2001.

"The younger generation of Asians seems to recognize the health benefit of dairy products and are changing their eating habits," says Helen Passingham-Hughes, managing director of TNS Asiapanel network. "Furthermore, Asian mothers, in particular Chinese, appear to want their children to grow up to be big and strong."

The research also revealed that the market for ready-to-drink tea in Asia has grown significantly in 2001 where, for example, in Thailand, it now makes up 40 percent of the total tea category and is driving total tea growth. In Korea, tea enjoyed one of the highest value growths - an increase of 25 percent, by attracting more buyers into the category. Similarly in Thailand, the fastest growing beverage categories by value are non-carbonated drinks and tea -up by 38 percent and 32 percent respectively.

"The popularity of ready-to-drink tea can be attributed to society’s growing need for speed and convenience, coupled with increasing health consciousness in Asians. There appears to be strong growth potential in the next year for the ready-to-drink tea market in Asia," says Passingham-Hughes.

Top traditional advertisers increase share of online ads

New York-based Nielsen//NetRatings reports that the top 100 traditional advertisers increased their share of online advertising and are leading the way for bolstering the online medium. The top traditional advertisers comprised more than 30 percent of the online advertising market by the end of 2002, as measured by ad impressions, climbing upwards since January 2000 when the group’s market share made up just 15 percent. Integrating online advertising in their overall campaigns, top traditional advertisers are embracing the Web as an important channel to get their message across.

Among the top traditional advertisers, AOL Time Warner boosted its online advertising presence by employing 28 percent more unique ads since 2001 with the launch of AOL 8.0. Microsoft increased its use of online advertising by 9 percent with its push of rival product MSN 8. Promoting brands including Volvo, Hertz and Mazda, Ford Motor Company’s online ads jumped by 34 percent, primarily in Q4. Disney’s promotion of ESPN The Magazine, ABC’s Alias and Disney Cruise lines increased its online presence by 28 percent. Other big growth rates came from DaimlerChrysler, whose online presence skyrocketed by an astonishing 407 percent over 2001. Traditional advertisers are also more apt to experiment with different ad formats, according to Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance, In 2002, the top 100 traditional advertisers relied heavily on nonstandard larger ad dimensions, with 92 companies out of the 100 using the full banner format. (see chart). Eighty companies employed nonstandard, large-size banners in their campaigns, while 87 of the top 100 advertisers used the skyscraper format.

Additionally, advertising technologies such as Flash and rich media have been garnering support over the last few years. Eleven percent of all impressions served by the top 100 traditional advertisers utilized Flash technology. While the 11 percent may seem small, 82 of the top 100 traditional advertisers employed Flash technology in their campaigns. The "floating ad" format, Eyeblaster, was also popular amongst traditional advertisers. Forty advertisers used the technology in the fourth quarter of 2002.

New vintage of wine consumers: young and ethnic

Scarborough Research, New York, unveiled the results of its national survey of wine consumers, which indicates that a new vintage of wine purchasers is hailing from a young and ethnic demographic. The Scarborough Wine Market Report reveals that over a third (39 percent) of U.S. adults age 21 and older have purchased wine in the past three months. The report also confirms the hunch that the wine consumer is more affluent (33 percent have a household income of $75K+) and better educated than an average American (39 percent have attended some college). The data also gives a new, wider definition of the wine consumer.

A quarter (25 percent) of wine purchasers are between the ages 21-34 and nearly half (45 percent) are between the ages 35-54. The ethnic make-up of wine drinkers closely mirrors the ethnic make-up of the U.S population with 10 percent of wine consumers being African-American and 10 percent Hispanic.

Younger wine consumers are more apt to pay a higher price for a bottle of wine. Wine consumers age 21-24 are twice as likely than the average purchaser to spend $20 or more on a bottle of wine, and those age 25-34 are 76 percent more likely to pay for high-end wine while adults age 65 or older are 74 percent less likely to pay top dollar for wine. Additionally, champagne purchasers are 29 percent more likely to be between the ages of 21-24.

The report also establishes a correlation between the price point of a bottle of wine and ethnicity. Only 6 percent of drinking-age adults spent more than $20 for a bottle of wine, but Hispanic wine consumers are 96 percent more likely to spend $20 or more on a bottle. Additionally, African-American wine purchasers are 39 percent more likely to reach for the higherpriced wine labels. African-American wine consumers seem to have an affinity for champagne or sparkling wine. This consumer segment is 59 percent more likely to purchase a bottle of champagne or sparking wine than the average wine consumer. Hispanics are also slightly more likely (13 percent) to purchase champagne.

The data for the Scarborough Research Wine Market Report is drawn from Scarborough USA+ 2002 Release 1 (February 2001 - March 2002) with over 200,000 adults interviewed in 75 of the country’s largest markets. The wine report details the demographics, beverage consumption, lifestyles, shopping patterns and media usage of wine consumers, including differentiations between price points.

Executives will take less time off in 2003

Nearly half of American executives plan to make fewer vacation plans in 2003, many citing the demands of their job, according to a survey by Management Recruiters International (MRI), Cleveland.

Of the 730 executives who responded to the survey, 47 percent said they will not use all the vacation time that they are entitled to this year. Moreover, 58 percent of that group said the demands of their job were the primary reason.

"There’s a sense in corporate America that this is the year to knuckle down and stay at your desk," says Allen Salikof, president and CEO of MRI. "Usually, executives prize their vacation time as essential to recharging their batteries. But with the economy continuing to limp along, executives are hoping that a little extra elbow grease will help revitalize corporate health more quickly."

With the air still leaking out of companies’ tight budgets, resulting layoffs have put more pressure on smaller staffs, which could be another factor compelling executives to work longer hours and take fewer vacation days.

"A lot of executives feel, ’Well I’m lucky to still HAVE my job so I want to make sure, if there is another round of layoffs, that I’m viewed as indispensable,’" says Salikof. "One way of demonstrating your value as an employee is showing your dedication to your desk. Management notices when a worker shrugs off vacation days."

In addition to economic and employer pressures, another factor weighing on many executives is their shifting attitude toward air travel. In light of world events, Americans are now inclined to cancel long trips, especially overseas, in favor of holiday weekends within driving distance of their homes. Domestic and international threats have, for the time being, removed the excitement of exotic vacations and replaced it with concern for personal safety.