Top news: Rolex tops the list for the RepTrak World’s Most Reputable Companies list for 2016. The list is a study that the Reputation Institute conducts annually to measure the reputation of the world’s 100 most highly regarded and familiar companies in 15 countries. And this is the first year Rolex has topped the list, and the only watch brand on the top 100 list.
The Reputation Institute is a leading advisory firm on reputation. It conducts an annual survey across all industries and in 15 countries worldwide to come up with a ranking which they call the RepTrak Pulse. The methodology is complex, and can be found in their website. But as a basic primer, here are the essentials:
RepTrak measures a company’s ability to deliver on stakeholder expectations on 7 key dimensions of reputation:
- Products and Services
Each which will earn the company support from its stakeholders
- Crisis proof
- Verbal Support
The scores are tabulated and summarized in a score called the RepTrak Pulse, which is a measure of reputation. Companies scored out of a maximum of 100, and Rolex sits at the top in 2016 with a RepTrak score of 78.4.
Rolex’s scores and the top 5 (commentary)
Rolex was ranked no 4 in the 2015 rankings but rose to no 1 for 2016. What is also interesting is that there are no other watch brands in the Top 100 list. Two other companies with links to the watch space do appear in the list. LVMH at no 47, down from 44 last year and the Swatch Group at no 53, up from 58 last year.
Rolex stands with the likes of Walt Disney, Google, BMW, Daimler. Lego, Microsoft, Canon, Sony and Apple. Rolex was no 4 in 2015 and 2014 in the same list.
Looking at the chart above, it is interesting to note that Rolex scores lower in China, considered one of the largest watch markets, than it does in the US, Russia and Australia. But the China scores are still a very high, and consistently strong and robust. Comparable to the scores Rolex gets in the EU.
However, Rolex ranks Top 10 in the 11 out of 15 countries surveyed and this is a marked improvement over 7 out of 15 in 2015. Also of note that Rolex is on the Top 10 across 3 out of 4 global regions. Ranking 8 in North America, 7 in EMEA and 1 in Asia. Only Google manages to be in the Top 10 in all 4 regions.
Also of interest is that Rolex is the undisputed leader in the Products and Services category. Apple being the global leader for Innovation and Leadership, Walt Disney in Customer Service, Governance and Citizenship, and Google in Workplace and Financial Performance.
Interestingly Volksvagen‘s rankings took a huge dive from no 14 in 2015 to no 123 in 2016, no doubt due to Emissions Scandal. But it appears to only affect VW, and not the other members in the automobile industry. BMW and Daimler are still present in the Top 10, and Toyota, Honda, Volvo, Ford and General Motors have not seen significant changes to their scores.
Also interesting is that Facebook doesn’t make it to the Top 100. General Motors is no 100, and has a RepTrak Pulse score of 67. Facebook comes in with a score of 65.
Other watch brands
No other watch brands appear on the list. Only LVMH as a group, and The Swatch Group as a group ranked 47 and 53 respectively.
As mentioned, LVMH ranked 47 in the 2016 rankings, a drop of 3 positions from 44 in 2015.
We note that LVMH is the entire group, which include both the watches and non watch component. Beyond the watchmaking stables of Hublot, Zenith, TAG Heuer, Bulgari and Chaumet, LVMH is active in more than 70 brand names across diverse industries as Wine & Spirits, Fashion & Leather Goods, Perfumes and Cosmetics and Jewelery.
The Swatch Group
The Swatch Group is also ranked 53, up from 58 last year. The group is only active in the horology space, from industrial manufacturing to owning high end maisons, like Breguet, Blancpain, Omega, Glashütte Original, Longines, Tissot, among others.
Rolex certainly is an amazing phenomena in both the watchmaking industry as well as a global business. They run a tight business, very serious, with great attention to detail. And the results show. Their score of 82.2 in the Products and Services segment and overall score of 78.4 to clinch the No. 1 position is indicative. Their products are consistently very high quality, very high reliability and high dependability. As an example on their commitment to this, the patent for their Annual Calendar used in the Sky Dweller was registered 15 years before it was announced in a watch. During the period, the module was subject to rigorous testing and analysis, and only after the engineers are satisfied with every aspect of its performance did they announce the Rolex Sky Dweller.
They make an estimated 700,000 to 800,000 watches (no official statistics are releases, so this number is a guess), pull an annual revenue of close to CHF 4,700,000,000 (Forbes figures for 2015). With so many watches in production, they still win high on the desirability stakes, and constantly being sought after. Try looking for the new Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 116500 LN. Almost all pieces delivered into the markets are immediately snapped up, and we hear rumors that the grey market prices for a piece is in excess of twice the Rolex recommended retail price.
And overall, Rolex remains extremely conservative. After all they are owned by a non-profit organization, with high morals and ideals. They are reluctant to take the limelight. Their corporate communications is efficient, and perhaps sufficient, but is lacking the fanfare and big publicity that many other watch brands so love. Their CEO, Jean-Frederic Dufour is quiet and does not seek attention, perhaps a bit uncharacteristic going by his days as CEO of Zenith. But fully in character as chief of Rolex.
And this is sometimes a good thing. Single minded focus to design and produce superlative watches. Bravo Rolex. Kudos on being No.1.