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About Our Rankings

Our rankings are highly unique. Most lists rank companies by EITHER financial (e.g. Fortune 500, BusinessWeek 50) or consumer performance (e.g. Top Brands, Corporate Reputation, Customer Satisfaction). While all serve their purpose very well, our mission is to identify those companies that do well in terms of BOTH financial AND customer strength. We do this using a standardized ratings system to measure each strength area independently.

We focus on two core measurements:
1) A five-year sliding algorithm of Economic Profit (EP) generated, and
2) Performance scores of how well companies meet customer expectations across 17 different needs.

When we interview consumers about their needs, we adapt the major concept to fit the industry in which the company competes. For example, we ask airlines about their plane quality while we ask retailers about their store quality. Quality is the concept we are measuring and by keeping the 17 concepts consistent, we can compare any company relative to any other in our coverage.

When you look at the 17 company rankings on our member's home page, you can see the top 10 rankings (including a bonus ranking for 11 total) of companies across all sectors of the economy. We update the member's home page weekly, since company performance changes weekly as well. We define the 17 basic concepts as follows:

Most Trusted Measures how well customers feel the company is being straight-forward with them. High ranks indicate the company has well-intentions and customers give them the benefit of the doubt.
Most Precise Measures how well customers believe the company stays organized. High ranks indicate the company is dependable and customers can rely on them to act in a specific way.
Best Connection Measures how well customers feel the company interacts with them appropriately. High ranks indicate the company knows how much (or little) to try to be sociable with customers.
Best Variety Measures how well customers believe the company proactively seeks out something new. High ranks indicate the company knows the right level of curiosity to exhibit with customers.
Most Stability Measures how well customers think the company adjusts to changing situations. High ranks indicate the company knows the right level of calmness or apprehension to demonstrate with customers.
Best Quality Measures the level of defects, perceived or real, from a company's offerings.
Most Unique Measures how differentiated a company's offerings are from its rivals.
Most Useful Measures how well a company's offerings are able to serve a helpful purpose for customers.
Most Fair-Priced Measures the return customers believe they receive for the price paid or time spent. Note that this is not the same as low-price.
Best Availability Measures the ease of customers to find and obtain access to a company's offerings.
Most Cool Measures the excitement customers feel when they possess a company's offerings.
Most Safe Measures how comfortable and secure customers feel about purchasing from a company.
Best Leadership Measures the amount of industry leadership customers believe the company possesses.
Most Competent Measures the knowledge a company exhibits about its industry and offerings.
Most Consistent Measures the dependability of a company when responding to customers.
Best Simplicity Measures the ease of using a company's offerings and doing business with a company.
Most Time-Sensitive Measures the ability of a company to deliver its offerings to customers within the appropriate time. Note that this is not the same as speed.

These measurements are blended into a single metric, what we call their W Score™. A W Score™ represents a company’s ability to earn a consistent profit above their cost of capital, and their ability to protect that profit through multiple sources of competitive advantage with consumers. The power of this system is in our unique ability to look forward into what consumers expect and need, and then oganize how well companies are meeting those expectations by how they make money.

Based on an exhaustive study of 2,628 companies from 1999 through 2005, we discovered a taxonomy of 9 specific patterns (from the 17 different needs we track) were connected to stable financial performance. Warren Buffett suggests that the best companies are like castles of the past with moats, where the moats protect them from rivals trying to steal their profits. We've borrowed the term moat from Warren Buffett, and now provide a common way to look at any company from any industry using the moats.

Our turn-key, patented system combines financials, behavioral psychology and statistics to measure the durability of a company's advantages with consumers. Our ratings serve as a leading indicator for investors and CEOs.

   Membership Levels:   Consumer    Business    Institution
The W Reports™ Overview Abour Our Rankings
Annual Reports 2010 Annual Reports 2006
Annual Reports 2009 Annual Reports 2005
Annual Reports 2008 Annual Reports 2004
Annual Reports 2007
“Every time we would see our [W] ratings rise a point at ARAMARK, we’d subsequently see our revenue and market share increase as well.”
John J. Zillmer, Former EVP
ARAMARK Corporation
Launch video in external player (1 minute, 39 seconds)