By Claire Reilly

Australians still value consumer electronics, but their focus has shifted from big retailers to big brands according to the Annual Corporate Reputation Index, released today by the marketing communications company STW Group.

The Index listed Apple as the most reputable company, ousting retailer JB Hi-Fi from the top position, which it has held for the past two years. JB is now in third place behind Australia Post which took the runner-up position in the ranking.

The Annual Corporate Reputation Index is produced every year by the research group AMR, and takes responses from over 6,000 Australian survey participants, aged between 18 and 64, who are asked to rank the top 60 companies in Australia (based on revenue in BRW’s top 1,000 listing).

The result is a list of well-known companies spanning sectors such as retail, consumer electronics, the motoring industry and aviation. Each company is not only ranked on overall performance, but also judged on seven key criteria: Products & Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Financial Performance.

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One of the big movers in retail was David Jones which saw a recovery in its reputation over the past year, moving from 25th to 14th place. However, DJs still has ground to make up on its previous rankings – the company was in 8th place in 2010.

“One of the big challenges facing David Jones going forward are perceptions around its ability to innovate – ranking 31st of the 60 companies,” said Oliver Freedman, reputation practice director and general manager of AMR Sydney.

While David Jones climbed, Qantas fell. The beleaguered airline fell from 7th place in 2011 down to 25th place this year, following the embarrassing industrial action and fleet grounding that took place last year.

Aside from JB Hi-Fi, two dedicated consumer electronics and appliance retailers made it in to the top 30 – The Good Guys at position 12 and Harvey Norman at position 28. Myer also scraped into the top 10, ranking as the 9th most reputable company.

2012 Corporate Reputation Index Overall Rankings (provided by STW):
1 Apple Australia
2 Australia Post
4 Toyota Motor Corporation
5 Nestle Australia
6 Virgin Australia
7 GM Holden
8 ING Direct
9 Myer
10 Mazda Australia
11 Air New Zealand
12 The Good Guys
13 Woolworths/Safeway
14 David Jones
15 Nissan Australia
16 Hewlett-Packard Australia
17 ALDI Australia
18 BlueScope Steel
19 IBM Australia
20 Bendigo and Adelaide Bank
21 Coca-Cola Amatil
22 Medibank Private
23 Suncorp-Metway
24 Wesfarmers
25 Qantas Airways
26 Lion Nathan National Foods
27 BHP Billiton
28 Harvey Norman
29 Foxtel
30 Westfield Group