Apple's recent financial performance couldn't be better, and its brand reputation appears to be just as strong. Marketing research firm Harris Interactive just released the results of its 13th annual Reputation Quotient survey, anointing Apple as the most reputable brand. Apple edged out Google, which held the top spot in 2011's poll, while Coca-Cola, Amazon, and Kraft Foods rounded out the top five. Harris's data comes from two online surveys that were fielded to over 17,000 respondents this past fall; respondents rank companies based on 20 different attributes that are grouped into six overarching categories: financial performance, vision and leadership, social responsiblity, emotional appeal, products and services, and workplace environment.
Apple garnered an overall reputation score of 85.62, the highest that Harris has seen in 13 years of running the survey, and was the top performer in all but two categories, social responsibility and emotional appeal. Amazon actually took the top slot for emotional appeal this year — it looks like all those Kindles the company is selling are helping to make a connection with consumers. From a broader perspective, 60 percent of respondents felt that corporate America's reputation had dropped in the last year, but the technology sector appears to be one that consumers have confidence in — 53 percent of respondents see tech companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon as part of the solution.