Two anticipated yearly lists came out in the last week or so - Business 2.0's 101 Dumbest Moments in Business and Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For. I think both can have a huge effect on brand perception. For example, the fact that three of the 101 dumbest moments in business in 2005 included Wal-Mart does not seem good for the retailer. And in the recruitment marketing biz, we are always referencing the Fortune list as the ultimate workplace award to promote with candidates.
Looking at a company from the Fortune list like Wegmans Food Markets, which took the top spot in 2005 and is number two this year, it is doing everything right to make the most of that placement: (1) Home page logo promoting the award that links to a press release. (2) Careers Web site that leads with the news as well as a call-out box listing Wegmans historical placements in the Fortune "best companies" list. (3) And the Wegmans tagline "Every Day You Get Our Best," which can resonate with customers, employees and job seekers, is a great, complementary touch. I've never been in a Wegmans store but it seems like a pretty cool company. Meanwhile, Wal-Mart... not so much.