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What brands with great reputations do best

When it comes to buying behavior, a company's brand can overshadow its product, according to a survey released Tuesday.

"The halo of the corporate brand is not only more important than ever before, it's critical," said Stephen Hahn-Griffiths, vice president of U.S. strategy consulting at the Reputation Institute. "[It's] the key to success in the global marketplace."

Reputation Institute, a research and advisory firm, examined the emotional bond consumers hold with companies in its annual survey. Using seven criteria — innovation, leadership, governance, citizenship, workplace, performance, and products and services — the firm found that the top-performing companies tended to score well on corporate social responsibility.

The firm surveyed roughly 22,000 U.S. consumers online during the first quarter, asking them a list of 17 questions about the companies they were most familiar with. The companies were scored out of 100. Here are the Reputation's Institute's top five companies that have brushed off controversy and won consumers' support so far this year.

— Posted by CNBC's Anita Balakrishnan
29 March 2016

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