Why are some companies admired?

  • What is it that makes some companies admired and others not?
  • Which companies do you admire and for what reasons? (keep it as objective as possible - no flame war)

Subjective Branding Reputation

asked Nov 14 '10 at 19:25
Olivier Lalonde
2,753 points

4 Answers


I feel that the companies that are most admired are those that impact their respective communities the most and those that have a positive impact on peoples day to day lives.

The first, and best, company that comes to mind is Starbucks. Starbucks was built off of the thought that they could provide a "second home" where people of the community could relax, converse, and enjoy a great cup of coffee. They have something like 22 repeated visits by customers a month, that is amazing. All of the employees love working there as well, which directly effect the mood of each store. All of these things makes the public admire the company.

answered Nov 14 '10 at 20:49
81 points
  • I thought starbucks was founded on the principal that people would be dumb enough to spend $5 for what they used to get for .50 cents? – Frank 13 years ago
  • I don't think I would agree with Starbucks being a company people admire. But I do agree that the companies people admire are the ones who have had a positive impact on their communities...so +1. – Zuly Gonzalez 13 years ago
  • Actually Franky B, Starbucks was founded on the principal that all employees would have healthcare (full-time and part-time). Growing up, Howard Schultz (founder) and his family struggled financially because his father was hurt on the job and didn't get healthcare benefits. So he set to create something that would provide that, in turn making employees happy. And we all know that happy employees directly impact sales and the environment. – User5061 13 years ago
  • While Starbucks may have good internal culture, I would say it's nearly the opposite from the outside looking in. At least in my opinion / view. – Adrian Schneider 13 years ago
  • I actually have a biased opinion on starbucks because of their failure to follow through on a land purchase contract a few years ago. They dont have hte most honest company culture at all. I think its hard for any company to stay small once they are large. That is why i admire the local owned restraunt 10 times more than the large franchise or corporate chain. I admire the little engines that could. – Frank 13 years ago


I think the reason most companies are admired is mostly due to innovation and company culture. Google, Apple, Zappos, all come to mind.

As for companies I admire, It would have to be those that remain private, dont go for angel or VC capital.

The most admirable company I can think of, and most admirable person is the founder of wikipedia. To give up being a potential billionare is something I know would be hard for anyone to do. It just shows you, its not about the $$$, but about the game, recognition, and creating something that you love.

answered Nov 14 '10 at 19:48
2,079 points
  • I would partially agree. True innovation is very admirable, along with focus and growth. However, I would suggest profits are the primary reason for conduction business. Profits are very admirable and ultimately what businesses are working for. – Jed Regan 13 years ago


I admire companies for similar reasons to why I may admire certain individuals: the entity in question has worked hard and survived multiple challenges, over enough time to not be luck, through creative problem solving all while maintaining a positive behavior.

Now, of course, there is a big personal dimension to what constitutes "positive behavior", so that's where it becomes totally subjective. For me, what I admire is not power, but rather "disruption" and "enablement". Who's changed the game? Who's maintained a social conscience while being successful, challenging the idea that business is cut-throat? Basically, high performance with high integrity, to paraphrase Heineman.

Off the top of my head, some companies I would personally list:

  • Grameen Bank: for making microloans a viable reality.
  • Zappos: always has novel ideas for running a business.
  • Commerce Bank: more novel ideas
  • Cisco: good, consistent leadership works
  • Netflix: where are you Blockbuster?
answered Nov 16 '10 at 01:49
1,383 points


I would not look at the companies for an answer to this, rather to the people who attribute value. As with all other things, different people value different things.

So, we see groupies/fanboys/admirers/proponents/evangelists for many companies and for many different reasons.

If a company is able to align itself with some group's interest and priorities and culture it is likely to have admirers.

answered Nov 15 '10 at 06:29
Tim J
8,346 points

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