Reputation Institute’s RepTrak® identifies the most reputable pharmaceutical companies among the UK general public
AbbVie, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk top the RepTrak® ranking of the most reputable pharmaceutical companies in the UK, Reputation Institute announced today, based on more than 1,600 ratings collected in the first quarter of 2016 from members of the UK general public.
Sentiment towards the pharmaceutical industry is significantly more favourable in the UK compared to nearly all other global markets, including all key European countries, and it is considered to be the third most reputable industry in the UK.
The top 10 companies in the 2016 UK Pharma RepTrak®, which are all perceived as having strong reputations, are:
- Novo Nordisk
- Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD)
- Abbott Laboratories
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
The RepTrak® system measures a company’s ability to deliver on stakeholder expectations on the seven key rational dimensions of reputation: products and services, innovation, workplace, governance, citizenship, leadership, and performance.
Companies are ranked on a score from 0-100 based on their overall reputation, and are grouped as Excellent (80+), Strong (70-79), Average (60-69), Weak (40-59) or Poor (Below 40):
- AbbVie, Sanofi and Novo Nordisk lead the pharmaceutical category, with MSD and Sanofi showing major improvements on last year, and AbbVie taking the lead in its first year of measurement.
- Giants Roche, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer are sitting at the bottom of the pack this year, with perceptions of GSK declining from ‘strong’ to ‘average’ over the last three years.
Interestingly, companies within the pharmaceutical industry have a better reputation in the UK than elsewhere in the world. Pharmaceutical companies in the UK have an average RepTrak® score of 72.8, while the average score globally is only 67.6; the US comes in at a close second with a score of 72.7.
The sector also ranks favorably compared to others in the UK. The sector has the third best reputation, beating eight others including technology and hospitality, and coming in just behind the consumer and retail industries, due to strength across all seven rational dimensions of reputation.
WHO YOU ARE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT YOU PRODUCE
The RepTrak® study reveals that corporate narrative is more important than products, for a pharma company’s reputation. The UK general public’s willingness to recommend a pharma company, speak about it positively and buy its products is predominantly driven by perceptions of the company (61%), vs. the products themselves (39%). Despite the importance the UK general public places on pharma companies’ governance, citizenship and leadership, only 50% are actually aware of what businesses are doing in these areas.
Kasper Ulf Nielsen, Executive Partner at Reputation Institute, comments:
With perceptions of who you are as a company being such a huge driver of reputation, and the lack of understanding in the general public about what the individual companies stand for, the message is clear. The pharmaceutical companies should focus on engaging and telling their corporate story to put a human face on the companies behind the drugs.
The results in the UK demonstrate that pharmaceutical companies should not be afraid to tell their story. The levels of trust, admiration, and respect for who they are is strong among the general public, and they want to know more.
Novo Nordisk, who came third in the UK Pharma RepTrak® rankings, with a score of 77.6 has the best CSR score in the UK and has benefitted from sticking to its Triple Bottom Line business principle.
The success of Novo Nordisk’s Triple Bottom Line business principle is evidenced by the fact that the company is the highest scorer in five of the seven dimensions of reputation, including citizenship and governance.
GlaxoSmithKline, has also invested heavily in a CSR campaign but is sitting down in fifteenth position with an ‘average’ score of 66.8. The GSK program has been focused around 23 forward-looking commitments across four areas of their responsible business approach, including health for all, behaviour in terms of improving access to healthcare for all, and providing a positive workplace. Kasper Ulf Nielsen comments, “The focus GSK has placed on improving its CSR perception is clearly yet to resonate with UK consumers. We see that more than 50% of the UK general public are uncertain as to whether they believe that GSK is as a good corporate citizen, that treats its employees well, and who is open and transparent about the way it does business.”
WHY REPUTATION MATTERS
Reputation Institute’s research reveals that reputation drives business results. The better the reputation, the more support a company gets. For pharmaceutical companies with an average reputation, only 20% would definitely recommend the company; this climbs to 31% if the reputation is strong, but increases to 79% if the reputation is excellent. “The impact of reputation on the business is massive, which is why the leading companies in the world are managing this asset in a systematic way,” says Nielsen.
In the UK, consumers must consider companies’ reputations “Excellent” in order to have more than 50% of those surveyed claim that they would say something positive about a company, recommend it, trust it to do the right thing, welcome it into the local community, and work for or invest in it.