Last month Comar Brunton, in conjunction with Wright Communications, released its annual index of New Zealand’s most trusted companies. 

“Wright Communications’ managing director, Nikki Wright said Colmar Brunton’s polling during the COVID-19 lockdown showed many of the top performing brands were living up to their reputations as trusted leaders in their industries.

“Despite being put under extreme duress by the COVID-19 crisis, brands like Air New Zealand are able to maintain their outstanding reputation with New Zealanders because it they have built a reservoir of trust over a long time and the public perceive it is doing all it can to deal with the crisis responsibly and fairly,” says Ms Wright. (Source: “NZ’s most reputable companies resilient through COVID-19,” Colmar Brunton , www.scoop.co.nz)

For the sixth year in a row, our national carrier, Air New Zealand came out on top, and there is no question that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on the airlines revenues as traveller numbers have plummeted, due to drastic reduction in flights.

The Head of Colmar Brunton, Sarah Bolger says, “In COVID-19 language, corporate reputation acts like an extra layer of immunity. Without a strong reputation, there is potentially a chink in a brand’s armour. Those with lower immunity are more vulnerable when times are tough.

“New Zealand’s most reputable businesses have so far done well because they have the building blocks of a strong reputation which builds trust. Trust is needed in a time of crisis.”

And what are the conditions for a fantastic reputation? “A strong sense of purpose – these companies know the impact they have on New Zealanders’ lives. Good leadership – they enabled New Zealanders to adopt behaviours that would support the Government’s measures. Fairness and responsibility – they have acted for the good of New Zealand citizens and their employees. Trust – they have behaved in a way that alleviates public anxiety,” Sarah Bolger says.

Toyota New Zealand was ranked fourth and chief executive officer, Alistair Davis says he believed the reason Toyota consistently rates so highly Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation top five is down to three key factors.

“A company’s culture is made of thousands of strands, just like a ball of rubber bands. It is this culture that binds a company together – creates a shape, unity, sense of purpose.”

“Toyota’s purpose is not just about making money or staying number one. Our purpose is about leading the way to the future of mobility, enriching lives around the world with the safest and most responsible ways of moving people. We are trying to build a sustainable future for personal mobility.

“The final ingredient is delivery. All the nice stuff counts for nothing if you can’t deliver. You have to deliver results for customers, shareholders, staff and society – every stakeholder. Execution counts. When it comes to innovation an ounce of execution is worth more than a ton of theory,” Mr Davis says.

The top ten: Air New Zealand, TVNZ, Pak’n Save, Toyota, AA Insurance, Kiwibank, Fisher & Paykel, The Warehouse, New World, Southern Cross.