Air New Zealand has retained its spot as New Zealand's most reputable brand for a fifth year in a row.

The national airline was among nine homegrown brands to place in the top 10, according to the Colmar Brunton Corporate Reputation Index for 2019.

Budget supermarket chain Pak'nSave placed second, moving up four places from the 2018 rankings, knocking TVNZ down a spot to third in the process.

Toyota was the only international brand to place in the top 10. The Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer placed fourth, one spot below its 2018 ranking.


Kiwi telco 2degrees was among the biggest gainers, moving up 11 places to 17th in the ranking.

Other big movers were Countdown, which rose 10 spots to 11th, KiwiBank which jumped nine places to break into the top 10 at seventh place and Zespri, up nine places from 14th to 23rd.

Marie Hosking, Air New Zealand's head of communications, said the airline was thrilled to be the country's leader for corporate reputation.

"The result represents the collective efforts of the more than 12,000 Air New Zealanders to deliver the best possible travel experience to our customers every day, whether it's across domestic New Zealand or travelling to and from our 32 international destinations.

"Reputation leadership and customer focus go hand in hand. It's only by maintaining an unwavering focus on customer experience, continuing to invest in products and services, and bringing a warmth and humanity to the way we interact with our customers that we can maintain our number one position."

The head of Colmar Brunton, Sarah Bolger, said the reputations of brands with a direct customer interface are most influenced by people's personal experiences of dealing with those brands.

"We are living in the age of experience. Building reputation nowadays is about actions not words.

"Today the most impactful corporate activities are those that people see and feel."

But Bolger warned positive customer experiences could be overshadowed or damaged by factors such as negative media coverage or public concerns about health, social or environmental harm caused by a company.


"If you can't demonstrate value and are not telling people how you are contributing positively to the world, you are going to be less relevant to people.

"Considering seven in 10 people struggle to name a New Zealand brand that is a leader in any form of sustainability, there is plenty of room for improvement."

Z Energy was among the biggest losers, falling 10 spots from fifth in 2018 to 15th place.

Sheena Thomas, external communications and Government relations manager for Z Energy, said while it was disappointing to see Z slip down the rankings, it didn't come as a surprise.

"Last year petrol prices reached record highs due to the highest international price of crude oil since mid-2013, a weak New Zealand dollar and additional taxes. This resulted in intense scrutiny of the fuel industry as a whole.

"It's not surprising that the high prices last year has impacted customers' view of the fuel industry including Z.

"We hope to regain our place in the top ten, and will continue to engage with our customers in every way we can – we're always open to hearing what we can do better."

Other energy companies to fall included, Mercury which fell five places to 19th, while Meridian Energy dropped one place to hold onto the last spot in the top 20.

Silver Fern Farms also lost four places, falling to 16th.

Nikki Wright, Wright Communications' managing director, said media coverage was the most influential factor on the reputations of corporate brands with limited public interface.

These include companies like Fletcher Building, Fonterra, Zespri, Fulton Hogan, SkyCity, Kiwirail and Goodman Fielder.

"If you have a brand that is driven by media content it is very important that you manage the narrative," Wright said.

Brunton said there was a remarkable consistency in the top 20 companies over the five years the index has run.

"Companies which do the right things by the public and tell their stories well have resilience that enables them to ride out occasional setbacks and bad news.

"Conversely, companies that don't consistently provide a great customer experience or communicate how they are dealing with their issues find their reputations suffer."

The index measured New Zealand's top 50 consumer-facing corporates by revenue based on 17 industry categories including leadership/success, fairness and trust.