The factors in play

According to Plus 94 Research the key factors impacting the reputations of this year’s TCRI Top 5 were as follows:


Coca-Cola, the most reputable business, has a reputation that depends on the strength of its recognition, governance, and in particular, communication, as well as its ability as a company to stand behind its products and services. The three attributes: being well known, standing behind its products and services, and communication with external stakeholders are pivotal to its overall performance.


This vehicle manufacturer has a reputation that rests on three main attributes, all three being connected to the leadership of the business. Consequently, Toyota is perceived to be a business that sees and takes advantage of market opportunities that present themselves. As such Toyota is reputed for being a good business to invest in, as well as offering high quality products and service.


Vodacom is strongly associated with supporting good causes, this being a crucial factor in its market resonance. It is also a business that is lauded for its ability to out-perform its competitors. A substantial part of Vodacom’s reputation depends on the perception that it is a good company to work for, and that it promotes the skills development of its staff. 

Like Coca-Cola, Vodacom is also perceived to be an excellent communicator with its stakeholders.


Similar to Toyota, Multichoice is a business whose reputation hinges on the ability of its leadership to articulate the goals and direction of the company. The market acknowledges its continuous development and growth. 

Allied to this vision is the strong association of Multichoice with high quality products and services. It was interesting that a considerable reputation driver for Multichoice, in addition to vision, leadership and products, is its commitment to developing the skills of its staff.


VW, the fifth most reputable business, has three nearly equal main drivers of its reputation. The first one is the desirability of its products because of their quality. 

The second factor is that the VW brand is associated with a certain level of esteem and status; the third is that it offers good value for money for the quality and stature of its products.

Boutique stars

The TCRI results identified a number of companies described as “boutique stars”. These were companies with sample sizes of less than 30 respondents, a situation largely occasioned by familiarity statistics. 

Plus 94 Research said the boutique stars represented a watch-list of companies that could, in future, become significant players in the reputation ratings. 

These included:

• Bromor   83.31

• Cipla Medpro 80.32

• Rimmel 73.76

• Pernod Ricard 73.70

• I-Net Bridge 72.78

• Discovery Bank 72.68

• AON 72.45

• Procter & Gamble 71.44

• Glaxo SmithKline 71.32

• Howzit 71.21

Differences by demographic

Plus 94 Research notes that brand reputation differs significantly by demographic, with reputation strength varying among age groups, races, genders and lifestyle groups.
For example, Toyota’s reputation was much stronger among males, while VW’s was stronger among females.  

The top three most reputable companies among females were Checkers (84.49), Coca-Cola (84.03) and VW (82.15). 

By contrast the top three most reputable companies among male respondents were Distell (83.01), Coca-Cola (82.33) and Vodacom (82.27).

While Coca-Cola overall was the best company, and tends to target a younger market, it was not the leading company among consumers aged 15 to 24. 

In this age group Volkswagen was a clear number one (84.18), followed by Vodacom (83.73) and then Coca-Cola (81.91). 

In the brand-conscious 25 to 34-year-old group, the company with the best reputation was Toyota (83.79), with VW coming second and Coca-Cola third. 

In contrast, the 35 to 44 age group rated Distell (86) first, followed by Multichoice (84.26) and Vodacom (83.96).  

In the 45-plus age group, Coca-Cola was ranked first with an impressive score of 88.11. In relatively poor second was Toyota (82.46) followed by Checkers (81.79).

When taking race into account the study revealed even more interesting differences, said Plus 94. 

Vodacom (81.78) was the top company among black respondents, followed by Coca-Cola (80.86) and Multichoice (79.27).  Among white respondents, the leading companies were Checkers, Coca-Cola and Distell.  

Toyota led among coloured respondents, followed by Multichoice and VW, and among Indian respondents, the top three companies were Distell, Checkers and Vodacom.