Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, despite losing some luster over the healthy foods movement, are the most respected corporate brands, while Delta Airlines and H&R Block top the list of least respected names, according to a study by consultancy CoreBrand.
Hershey, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson rounded out the top five, while Big Lots, Denny's and Best Buy filled out the bottom five.
Entering the top 10 for 2014 are Apple, its new business partner IBM, and General Electric. CoreBrand sees IBM's return to the ranking as a sign that traditionally respected companies are bouncing back from negative views borne out of the financial crisis.
CoreBrand gauges brand respect through a continuous index of data on familiarity and favorability of more than 1,000 companies that are publicly traded for five or more years.
At the least-respected end of the spectrum – biggest gap between high familiarity and low favorability – were Rite Aid, JC Penney, Capitol One, Family Dollar and Sprint Nextel, rounding out the bottom 10. Of the least-respected group, CoreBrand found that Denny's and Family Dollar Stores have made strides in improving favorability by 2.7% and 3.6%, respectively.
Delta topped the least-respected list but was rated in a similar vein to industry counterparts United and American Airlines, which draw similarly high familiarity and low favorability.
"While Delta has the lowest favorability of the group, clearly all of the airlines could benefit from more brand respect," Coreband noted.