BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, and DuPont have the strongest reputations in the chemical industry, according to a new State of the Chemical Industry Study from APCO Worldwide, which uses the firm’s proprietary Return on Reputation Indicator model to examine how corporate reputation translates into added value for companies in that sector.

The study found that the ability to improve the quality of consumers’ lives and to drive economic success are among the key factors that separate top companies across the United States and in six European markets.

According to Katie Sprehe, director of reputation research and strategy at APCO Insight, based in Washington, DC: “The analysis shows that top companies are particularly well-rated on how their products improve quality of life and overall economic contributions through the creation of highly skilled jobs. There is considerable potential to articulate the story about how these companies enhance the lives of literally billions around the world on a daily basis."

The study examined overall favorability toward the leading 20 chemical companies and measured performance on five key drivers of reputation: safety; innovation and competitiveness; engagement; environmental impact; and governance.

Chris Levy, director of APCO Insight in Europe, adds, “Our analysis shows there is a tangible reputational pay-off for companies if they can get their communication right. The stronger a company’s reputation, the more likely opinion leaders are to act as advocates—be that on social media or in more traditional forums.

“Companies should focus on the positive narrative, but not forget to address the most important stakeholder concerns, for example issues around water use.”

The Return on Reputation methodology has demonstrated a correlation between reputation and sales, stakeholder advocacy, policy goals, and marketing capitalization.