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3M Company is the 4th most reputable US Company

America's Most And Least Reputable Big Companies

Jacquelyn Smith, 04.05.11, 12:01 AM EDT

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Here are the businesses consumers like and dislike more than any others.

Are you more likely to buy from Amazon or eBay? Fill up at Chevron or Exxon Mobil? Fly Southwest or Delta? Chances are, when you chose one of these brands over another, you're influenced more by the company's reputation than by any particular product it offers.

In the first quarter of 2011, Reputation Institute, a private consulting firm, conducted an online study among 32,946 consumers in which it measured their perceptions of those companies among the 150 largest in the U.S. that they were “somewhat” or “very” familiar with. Each company earned a “RepTrak Pulse” score of 0 to 100, representing an average measure of people’s feelings--or reputation--for a company. The scores were statistically derived from four emotional indicators: trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling.

Reputation Institute then analyzed what it calls the seven dimensions of corporate reputation. That's where it found that perceptions of the enterprise (workplace, governance, citizenship, financial performance and leadership) trumped product perceptions (products and services plus innovation) in driving behaviors.

The industrial products firm 3M ( MMM - news - people ), another newcomer to the top 10, holds the No. 4 spot with a pulse score of 81. The St. Paul-based company is constantly innovating and acquiring businesses to stay ahead of the curve. A year of strong financial performance raised its profile and enhanced its reputation as a company.

"The people of 3M have always understood the compelling nature of character and integrity as the defining elements of our reputation," George W. Buckley, 3M's chief executive, told Reputation Institute. "This reputational foundation is the critical element in building the trust of our customers in 3M as we work towards their success, as well as our own. Technology and integrity are the combined glue that holds 3M together."