Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

 

They're the best, the biggest, the brightest.

They're America's pride, joy, gold standard, and envy of the world.

Everyone loves the Fortune 100 companies.

Because they're great. Well, very big.

A new survey, however, suggests that consumers now have a very dark view of one Fortune 100 company in particular.

But first the good news.

The SurveyMonkey/Fortune survey talked to 10,143 adults and asked them which of the Fortune 100 companies moved them to certain views and emotions.

Tech companies fill real people's hearts with glee, love, and giddy abandon.

The Most Trustworthy? Amazon.

The Most Innovative? Apple.

The Most Worthy of Investment? Amazon again.

The One That's Made the Biggest Global Impact? Microsoft.

The One That's Best at Sneaking Into Every Aspect of Your Private Life? A tie between Google and Facebook.

I'm sorry, I made that last one up. Facebook isn't in the Fortune 100. And Alphabet, Google's genetically modified parent, came out well.

Then there was the winner of Most Negative Global Impact, Worst for the Country, Most Likely to Be Shut Down, and Most Ruthless.

I say "winner" in the singular because Walmart won them all.

Is this simply a case of a company from the Old World being seen as not comparable to the bright, new shiny things that makes our lives so much easier?

Or is there more to it?

Those who criticize Walmart say that it is detrimental to local communities, underpays workers, and offers them poor health care, and generally manages its public image like an older, crustier Anthony Weiner.

Walmart didn't immediately respond to my request for comment.

Perhaps, though, it's just a company that was used to doing things a certain way and has seen the Web economy--with Amazon at its apogee--deflate it with more modern thinking that readily pleases customers.

Somehow, other older companies in the Fortune 100 did far better in this survey.

Americans believe that insurance companies that have been around for years--such as State Farm and Allstate--really do care about them. Yes, they're not just saying that in their ads apparently.

But let's talk ruthlessness.

Walmart managed to beat out Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley in this category.

That's quite an achievement.

And, wait, I thought America secretly admired ruthlessness above so many other virtues.

How might Walmart tell consumers it cares more? Or perhaps it doesn't feel it needs to.

Its stock is up 16 percent this year.

It outsells Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft combined.

Don't think of it as ruthlessness. Think of it as tough love.           

Published on: Jun 7, 2016
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