Nov 29, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

A list of the top ten companies that millennials trust most was released recently --and the results might surprise you. 

There are currently 1.8 billion millennials, and about 90 percent of them live in developing nations. What does that mean? They have a big role in the global economy -- and a net worth of about $24 trillion by 2025. By 2020, they will comprise about 35 percent of the world's workforce. So, it matters how much they trust companies.

This year, Google ranks number one in the reputation ranking.

Rolex, the luxury watchmaker, is the second most reputable company among the group, with the report claiming the brand embodies success and wealth and is also rated for integrity.

Ranked third, the Walt Disney Company had the highest score in corporate responsibility and in leadership and performance. They came only second to Google in their brand narrative. It's also perceived as the most caring company.

Nintendo took fourth, with the highest score in governance and being rated as having most reputable CEO. Lego, Sony, BMW Group, Canon, Adidas, and Microsoft round out the top ten.

According to Forbes, Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, chief reputation officer at the Reputation Institute, said, “CEO responsibility is a leading quality for most millennials, highlighting their importance as the face of the company. To improve their reputation among millennials, CEOs need to focus on conveying a sense of social responsibility and ethical behavior.

He added, “The highest dimension lift among those familiar with CEOs are in the key dimensions of citizenship and governance -- Google’s Sundar Pichai is a prime example of a CEO who has got this right and Google are clearly reaping the rewards as a result.

“Perhaps the biggest opportunity for business today is improving corporate responsibility, which is gaining momentum all the time. [...] Companies need to be progressive and show they care, otherwise they risk being left behind. When we consider that millennials are set to comprise 35% of the global workforce by 2020, this is a reputational risk few companies can afford to take.”

The bottom line is how companies communicate matters. Leadership and messaging matter even more.

Learn more about earning your MBA.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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