Study reveals Canada’s most reputable companies

Consumer trust in brands has dropped, but Canadians continue to value companies will a strong CSR track record.

Canadians’ trust in companies has dropped since last year, but they continue to think highly of those that have made efforts on the CSR front, according to the latest edition of an annual study on corporate reputation.

The Reputation Institute’s survey of most reputable brands in Canada, conducted in partnership with Argyle Public Relationships, shows Google held on to the top spot in 2018, echoing the results of another corporate reputation ranking by Leger. Mountain Equipment Co-op was the top Canadian company (coming in at fifth overall), followed closely by drug store chain Jean Coutu, which rose eight spots from last year’s survey.

The full list of the top 50 brands in Canada can be found below.

“While Canadians’ trust in companies has dropped nine points in the past year, the most reputable companies of 2018 are those that balance performance with purpose, conquering our hearts and minds by living up to their brand promise,” said Bradley Hecht, senior managing director of the Americas at the Reputation Institute, in a press release.

The survey saw Roots and Canadian Tire’s rankings “soar” as a result of their CSR efforts, jumping five and four-and-a-half points, respectively. Both earned strong ratings for their citizenship and governance (the latter being the perception that a company is honest and transparent in its relationships with stakeholders and the public).

However, both Tim Hortons and Agropur dropped the fastest among Canadian brands, with the coffee company falling from number 13 last year to number 67 in 2018 (down 5.7 points) and the dairy cooperative slipping from number 27 to 68 (down 4.5 points).

“Authenticity really matters to Canadians, and we judge companies harshly when we don’t believe they live up to their stated values,” said Daniel Tisch, president and CEO of Argyle Public Relationships, in a statement. “The most reputable Canadian companies are almost nine points higher than their peers in perceptions of their corporate social responsibility – and it’s not surprising that they are widely perceived to be more genuine.”

The survey is based on 27,000 individual ratings from Canadians, who were ask to score companies based on seven criteria: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership and financial performance. More than 250 companies were tracked in the survey, conducted from January to February 2018.