Facebook came out on top in W2O’s newly released 2018 Relevance Index of Fortune 100 companies. The index measures how well companies engage and interact with consumers.
Not only did Facebook head up the list, it was the only company to rank as “resilient,” the index’s top category, indicating a “well-established, enduring, resistant, tenable” organization.
Tech companies dominated the upper reaches of the index. In the number-two spot behind Facebook was Google, and Microsoft, Amazon and Apple rounded out the top five. Facebook, Google and Microsoft were also the top three companies in the 2017 index, with Amazon and Apple each moving up one slot from last year.
But while there was little movement in the top five (only last year’s number four, The Walt Disney Company, dropped to number eight), quite a few companies exited the top 15. Those companies included Starbucks, Airbnb, Netflix, Spotify, Tesla, Twitter and Uber. New companies in the top 15 included GM, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and FedEx.
According to W2O, relevance is becoming a more important factor than corporate reputation in shaping the impact a company has. “Relevance is the new reputation,” says W2O principal Gary Grates. “It provides a more actionable measure for leaders to determine if they are truly connecting with key audiences.”
Overall, the index shows that most Fortune 100 companies could do a much better job at achieving that relevance. Only eight companies ranked as resilient or strong, with 51 registering as either susceptible or weak, which according to W2O’s study means “they need to take significant, immediate, clear, genuine and sustained actions to engage with stakeholders who matter on the topics that matter to them.”
One big boost to a company’s rank was having a CEO with high approval ratings. According to the report, leaders of the most relevant companies are proactive and have a clear, consistent, differentiating narrative and point of view. They also understand what W2O refers to as the “Trump Factor,” i.e., the ability to respond to the president’s statements in a way that resonates with their target audience.