Harris Interactive takes an annual public opinion poll on corporate brands, determining which companies have the best -- and worst -- reputations in the eyes of the public. This year, Apple jumped to the top of the heap and is considered to have the best image of any American company.
Just last year, Apple was in the fifth place position, but the death of Steve Jobs, the incredible profitability of the company, and its improving environmental record all combined to put it in first place for 2012. In second through fifth position this year were Google, Coca-Cola, Amazon.com, and Kraft Foods.
The poll queried 12,961 people online during December, with the respondents evaluating companies based on leadership, financial performance, workplace environment, social responsibility, emotional appeal, and the quality of products and services. Apple's quick action in terms of supplier responsibility to workers appears to be having a positive effect on the company's score as well. Apple scored a record 85.62 points out of 100.
In case you were wondering where Microsoft ended up, the Redmond WA-based tech company was in ninth place.