Samsung is the most reputable tech company in the U.S., replacing Nintendo, which held the top spot a year earlier, according to the Reputation Institute, a Boston-based consulting firm.
The rankings are tallied annually by the company, which conducted more than 50,000 interviews during the first quarter to measure how U.S. consumers view brands and their emotional connection to them.
The top 10 has changed dramatically in the past year. In 2014, Nintendo, Canon, Sony, Intel, Panasonic, Microsoft, The Walt Disney Company, Samsung, Fujifilm, Dell and Google rounded out the top 10. This year, only three of those brands remain in the top 10. Somewhat surprisingly, Apple didn’t make the top 10 either year, and fell to No. 21 from 19 in last year’s report.
It’s important to note that Nintendo doesn’t make the list year because the Institute is now categorizing it as a gaming console company, and not as a generic tech company. Still, it would have falling below the top 10 seen in the cart below, with a score of 70.4.
In determining a customer’s emotional connection to a brand, the Reputation Institute says it evaluates seven dimensions: a company’s innovation, leadership, governance, citizenship, workplace, performance, and products/services.
The company included both tech companies that cater to businesses, but also to consumers. It also did not include Amazon because the company considers it a retailer. If it had included Amazon, it likely would have reigned supreme. In May, the Reputation Institute named Amazon as the most reputable company in the U.S. across all categories for the second year in a row, and earlier this month, it ranked the Seattle e-commerce giant as the most reputable retailer.
Last year, the Reputation Institute identified Samsung as a rising star, especially in contrast to Apple, which it says was hurt by supply chain scandals, including issues at its Foxconn factories. Meanwhile, it found that while both Apple and Samsung’s brands are viewed as “imaginative and ambitious,” the difference is that Apple is “cool and trendy,” and Samsung is “reliable and secure.”
That patterned seems to continue into 2015, with customers showing a preference for Samsung over Apple and other major brands, like HP and Toshiba.
Microsoft, which ranked third overall, performed especially well when it came to “governance,” which refers to whether the company behaves ethically and is open and transparent in its business dealings, and “workplace.” . Google also performed well across a number of sectors, including citizenship, which has to do with the company’s track record on supporting good causes and protecting the environment, and “workplace.”