The Galaxy Note 7 fiasco immensely hurt Samsung's reputation in the United States, according to The Harris Poll's 2017 Reputation Quotient Ratings published on Monday. The South Korean tech giant's corporate reputation in the U.S. is now only the 49th highest in the country, down by 42 spots in comparison to 2016 when Samsung had the seventh best reputation in the U.S. From 2013 to 2015, the Seoul-based conglomerate had one of the ten best reputations in the U.S. but the public perception of the company started declining in recent years. For added context, Samsung had the third highest reputation in the country in 2015 and is now down by 46 spots compared to that period.
The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient has been measuring the reputations of the most well-known U.S. companies for the last several years. According to the latest survey, Amazon has the highest reputation among the general public in the country and is followed by Wegmans Food Markets and Publix Super Markets. The Harris Poll utilizes a methodology based on 20 factors spread across six categories of corporate reputation: products and services, financial performance, vision and leadership, social responsibility, workplace environment, and emotional appeal. Apart from the ordeal surrounding the Galaxy Note 7, Samsung's U.S. reputation also took a huge hit following the arrest of the conglomerate's Vice Chairman and heir Jay Y. Lee, industry watchers believe. However, Lee's arrest isn't reflected by The Harris Poll's findings.
The latest turn of events saw Lee become the first Samsung chief that was ever arrested due to a criminal investigation. Despite the fact that Samsung's corporate reputation in the U.S. is currently on a steep decline, the public perception of the Seoul-based conglomerate still didn't decline as fast as that of Wells Fargo did, The Harris Poll showed. The study was based on online interviews of approximately 2.3 million American consumers that were conducted between November 19 and December 16 of last year. While the study was relatively comprehensive, its findings may not be perfectly representative of Samsung's current corporate reputation in the U.S. Regardless, the largest phone maker in the world is currently under pressure from both consumers and its shareholders to make amends for its recent missteps and the company is hoping to do just that with the upcoming Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus.