Sony brand rep beats Microsoft, Apple

Google rated top "most trusted, liked, and respected" company worldwide by consulting firm Reputation Institute, with the Japanese electronics giant taking second place.

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Internet giant Google has topped a chart of international brand reputation, followed narrowly by Sony, in a consumer survey conducted by consulting firm Reputation Institute. Apple ranked at number six and Microsoft at number 11 on the list of 28 corporations that have "successfully exported their reputations around the world."

The Sony name carries a considerable amount of weight.
The Sony name carries a considerable amount of weight.

The Institute conducted a number of surveys around the world in January 2010 and then entered the 54 brands most respected in their home countries into a secondary, global survey. The online survey asked consumers to rate companies for "trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling," producing a reputation score of up to 100. Companies with global ratings above 70 earned a spot on the "world's most reputable" list.

Although Nintendo was sixth among the 600 companies in last year's full ranking by the same firm, it wasn't among the world's 600 "largest" firms entered into this year's study. This was because its revenues for 2010 were not high enough compared to the local competition, according to Adam Shoer, Reputation Institute's associate director of corporate communications.

Google took the number-one spot with a so-called "global reputation pulse" score of 78.62, edging out Sony's score of 78.47. Microsoft slotted in at number 11 with a score of 74.47, though neither it nor Sony was being specifically evaluated for its video game products. Google and Sony both ranked highly in individual regions; Sony placed in the top five in each region surveyed. Google ranked in the top five in each region except Asia, due to an "average" reputation in China, according to the consultancy firm.

Despite Sony and Microsoft having received their share of reputation-harming press during recent years, such as the "red ring of death" and ""yellow light of death" console hardware failures, the survey's results suggest both brands are still held in esteem worldwide. But because the study questioned the general public, for whom Sony and Microsoft are better known as an electronics and software brand, respectively, their chart appearances may not reflect their relative reputations as gaming brands.

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