Samsung takes a big hit in new US reputation poll

Last year was rough on just about everyone. Samsung seemed to get it especially bad, as the Note 7 saga stretched out over several months and two separate recalls. Somewhere in there, the electronic giant’s washing machines got caught up in the madness with a recall of their own, while its executives got tangled up in some questionable governmental dealings.

To the surprise of many, the company seemed to come out of all of that mostly unscathed — financially, at least. Thanks to a robust components business, Samsung defied expectations, posting its largest profit gains in three years. Interestingly, a Reuters poll released toward the end of the year implied that the company’s reputation didn’t take too big a hit in the U.S.

New numbers from Harris Poll seem to fly in the face of that sentiment, with the company taking a major hit in its 2017 Reputation Quotient Ratings report, as the South Korean Galaxy-maker dropped a staggering 42 places from last year, from the No. 7 slot to a much more dismal 49 — just ahead of the United States Postal Service. Amazon, Apple and Google, by comparison, ranked 1, 5 and 8, respectively.

The poll was conducted between late November and mid December last year, surveying 30,000 U.S. adults about various brands’ social responsibility, vision/leadership, financial performance, workplace environment, products and services and the decidedly more nebulous “emotional appeal.”

Since the poll was conducted late last year, the company has taken steps to address concerns around product safety and its in-house handling of the Note 7 crisis, “deeply” apologizing for the debacle and highlighting the steps it would take to avoid such issues in the future.