In the world of corporate America, it's so hard to become a beloved Apple or Amazon, so easy to become a despised and maligned Enron.
After all, to be loved, a company has to do practically everything right. But to fall into the public's corporate naughty list, all a business has to do is make a few blunders that anger its customers, punish its shareholders, and abuse its employees.
When a company botches major product or service launches, when stock values plunge, when pink slips are handed out en masse, when mistreated workers pass on the unhappiness by providing poor customer service -- those are the conditions under which a company's brand can see its popularity plunge.
24/7 Wall St. looked at all those angles and more in its analysis. Now, we bring you the result: the 10 most hated companies in America.
Methodology: 24/7 Wall St. editors reviewed a variety of metrics measuring customer satisfaction, stock performance, and employee satisfaction. This included total return to shareholders compared to the broader market and other companies in the same sector in the last year. We considered customer data from a number of sources, including Consumer Reports, the MSN Money/Zogby customer satisfaction poll, ForeSee's Holiday E-Retail Satisfaction Index, and the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index. We also included employee satisfaction based on worker opinion scores recorded by Glassdoor. Finally, we considered management decisions made in the past year that hurt company image and brand value from marketing research firms BrandZ and Interbrand.
Several organizations might have made this list, but have had some good things go their way in recent months. Among them, Netflix (NFLX), which made our list last year thanks to several bad decisions that hurt the company's public relations in 2011, such as the increase in streaming fees, are well in the past. After a sharp drop in 2011, shares are finally recovering and are up more than 30% in the past three months.
It is worth noting that some of the companies on the list may have done very poorly by some measures but well by others. A few of the most hated companies have had good stock performances. Others may have satisfied customers. All of this was taken into account when the decisions for the final list were made.