Survey says: Wegmans has best reputation in the nation

Discussion
Feb 06, 2015

It turns out that it’s not just Alec Baldwin’s family that thinks the world of Wegmans Food Markets. The 16th annual Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study has the family-owned chain based in Rochester, NY at the top of its list of companies based on corporate reputation.

"Reputation is far from static and is a business asset that is earned every day as people evaluate companies through the lens of what matters most to them. Wegmans has spent years building a sterling reputation in the communities they serve, through its employees, one shopping experience at a time," said Carol Gstalder, reputation & public relations practice Leader for Harris Poll, in a statement.

The reputations of the 100 most visible companies range from excellent (scores of 80+) to poor (scores of 50 to 64). Wegmans ranked highest at 84.36 followed by Amazon.com at 83.72. Other retailers with excellent reputations include Costco (81.69), L.L. Bean (80.78) and Publix (80.73).

The study ranks respondents based on six reputation attributes: Emotional Appeal, Products & Services, Social Responsibility, Vision & Leadership, Workplace Environment, and Financial Performance. Wegmans was the only company on the Harris list to rank in the top five of all six.

"This really supports what we have always believed," Michele Mehaffy, a Wegmans spokesperson, told The Buffalo News. "If we meet the needs of our employees, they will take care of our customers."

What elements of a company’s reputation are most important to its success in the marketplace? What retailers besides those mentioned do you think benefit greatly from outstanding reputations?

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12 Comments on "Survey says: Wegmans has best reputation in the nation"


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Dr. Stephen Needel
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Here’s another made-up number that is supposed to mean something. How many people give any thought to a company’s vision and leadership, workplace environment, and financial performance? We (the readers) might do so, but the average Harris Poll respondent? It’s all about price/value and/or customer service.

Joan Treistman
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

I like that Wegmans attributes its reputation to its employees. They make the point of working toward that goal. And it states their internal vision is very clear and direct. Trader Joe’s probably falls into that category of linking employee focus and brand reputation.

By the way, who are the respondents of the Harris Poll? Are they employees or the general public? The article doesn’t say and the articles linked don’t tell.

Tony Orlando
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Wegmans is the best I have seen in my lifetime. Quality foods, smiling employees, great selection, innovative, beautiful interiors, great perishables departments. The locations of the stores are always near the high-traffic areas where commerce thrives.

Macy’s comes to mind for a quality retailer, Amazon for online is top-notch and Kroger comes to mind for a great company as well. There are many, many small town retailers that never get any credit for their hard work and quality experience day-in and day-out, and I for one want to congratulate them for their service to the entire community.

J. Peter Deeb
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Vision and leadership are the most important attributes for success. Great leadership will provide all of the other attributes listed in the survey. You can have some of the others but without vision and leadership they will not be sustainable. We have all seen companies that slide or fail when the leadership compromises their vision and mission. I am amazed that a relatively small regional company like Wegmans has the loyal following and the industry admiration to hit this home run!

Several other companies that I see being very successful with great reputations are Williams-Sonoma, Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn and Nordstrom.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Publix is my choice because they are all over where I am in Florida. I have been to Wegmans and wish they were here. But alas, that is not going to happen any time soon. Why Publix? My answer is because it is a friendly environment. The staff is always willing to help. As opposed to Walmart where it is difficult to even find a staff person.

Richard J. George, Ph.D.
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Obviously all of the attributes noted are keys to developing a positive reputation and accompanying success in the marketplace. However, the following visible elements are critical: Emotional appeal, products and services, social responsibility and workplace environment. Wegmans wins on all of these customer-focused factors. In fact, one of the best testimonials of Wegmans’ success is that the company gets thousands of requests annually from consumers to open a store in their neighborhoods.

Some other obvious retailers with positive reputations include the following: Publix, Whole Foods, Costco and Trader Joe’s.

Mark Burr
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

“‘This really supports what we have always believed,’ Michele Mehaffy, a Wegmans spokesperson, told The Buffalo News. ‘If we meet the needs of our employees, they will take care of our customers.'”

Pretty simple isn’t it?

Further, “Wegmans was the only company on the Harris list to rank in the top five of all six.”

Consistency.

Roger Saunders
Guest
7 years 3 months ago
To be certain, not only does Wegmans have a great reputation, they deserve it. You merely have to walk the stores, interact with their associates and experience the quality ambiance to understand the tribute stemming from the Harris Poll. When measuring loyalty and reputation, it is often most useful to listen to the shoppers of a similar category (in this instance, grocery). The Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey uses Net Promoter Scoring, the format developed by Reichheld and Bain Consulting, for the grocery and other retail categories. The consumer is asked, on a scale of zero to 10, to say how likely they would be to recommend the grocer to friends and family. Consumers rating scores of 10 and nine are promoters, seven and eight are passives and zero to six are detractors. Detractors are subtracted from promoters for a promoter score. Since grocery trips per year average 99 per household, consumers tend to rate their grocers highly compared to many other categories. In the Prosper Monthly Consumer Survey, Wegmans shines above their grocery cousins. They… Read more »
Jeff Hall
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Of the six reputation attributes, our work has consistently shown products and services, emotional appeal, social responsibility and workplace environment as having the most significant impact on financial performance and long-term sustainability.

When these attributes are very much alive and present within a brand, the organization realizes clear differentiation and competitive advantage over others. These attributes have always been a part of the DNA and fabric of Wegmans, and the results speak for themselves.

Established and emerging retailers with a similar outlook and philosophy include Patagonia, Harris Teeter, Starbucks, and in closer proximity to our metro Detroit offices, Plum Market and Shinola.

Lee Kent
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

Whenever I go into an establishment, be it fast food, grocery, restaurant, other retail, I always credit the store management when I see happy, focused, helpful, good employees.

Why? Because the management team usually hires people like themselves and then they treat them the way they, themselves would want to be treated.

I wish I could say that this goes back to the brand leadership but, unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. When it does go back to the brand, like Wegmans, Costco, etc, it’s a win-win for all involved.

I am bringing this up only to say that sometimes there are locations that have great reputations even though the overall brand may not. And these locations benefit greatly all by themselves.

So, I have to cast my 2 cents to the workplace environment as the top attribute.

William Passodelis
Guest
7 years 3 months ago

I AGREE with Dr. Needel The ONLY thing the general public cares about is
products and services! That’s is it! That is your company.

Of course the employee is important, and Wegmans has GREAT employees, but you ARE your products and services.

Alan Cooper
Guest
Alan Cooper
7 years 3 months ago

Your employees are the face of your brand. As an occasional shopper at Wegmans (the buffet is not only outstanding, but consistent across the stores) you can easily see that employees are genuine, enjoy their work and enjoy helping customers. This translates into exceptional retail execution and outstanding service.

Where employees do not embody the brand, negativity is pervasive in social media, whether it relates to leadership, pay, conditions or overall environment.

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