Most Inspiring Companies™

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Performance Inspired Announces America’s 2013 Most Inspiring Companies™

Performance Inspired, Inc., a national consulting and leadership training firm, announces Most Inspiring Companies™ survey of 2013—a completely consumer-centric read on the perceptions of leading organizations, including specifics on why people think the way they do.

“According to our latest research, consumers are not only feeling inspired by certain businesses, but are acting inspired by spending more with these companies while evangelizing to others about their inspiring experience,” says Terry Barber, chief inspiration officer for Performance Inspired. “We now see there is a validated set of drivers to inspiration and when these drivers are activated, it elevates employee engagement that shows up in the customer experience.”

An inspiring company was framed for respondents as: 1. Using its profits and influence to make the world a better place. 2. Recognized by consumers as having an inspired and passionate workforce.  3. Demonstrated an ability to have big ideas and make those ideas become a reality.  4. Causes consumers to feel encouraged and empowered to achieve their personal goals.

Here are some key findings from this year’s survey:

  • 54% of respondents think about their Most Inspiring Company at least weekly and 28% actually talk positively about their Most Inspiring Company every week. 29% of respondents think and/or talk about that company daily.
  • Companies who were most known for using their profit and influence for making the world a better place included Microsoft, Target, Wholefoods
  • Companies recognized for having the most passionate and inspired workforce were Chick-fil-a, Disney, Southwest Airlines.
  • Companies known for having big ideas and making those ideas become reality included Apple, Google, and Amazon.
  • Companies who inspire by encouraging and empowering their customers to achieve their personal goals and passions were Nike, REI, COKE.
  • For the first time this year, the survey asked respondents: “Who is most likely to make the world a better place, Business, Charities, Church/Synagogue or Government?” Thirty-nine percent of people said charities, 39% said business and 22% said church/synagogue. Zero respondents gave their confidence to government in helping to make the world a better place.

“Now, more than ever, is the time for businesses to examine what they are doing, or if they are doing anything, to inspire customers,” shares Barber. “Consumers are counting on private businesses of all sizes to inspire and improve the world. If a company can capture and promote a spirit of innovation and inspiration within its employees, they will have uncovered the secret to devout customers for life.”

The companies that round out the top of this year’s 25 Most Inspiring Companies:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Disney
  3. Walmart
  4. Chick-fil-a
  5. Target
  6. McDonald’s
  7. Google
  8. Amazon
  9. Johnson & Johnson
  10. Tom’s Shoes
  11. The Coca-Cola Company
  12. Apple
  13. Starbucks
  14. Costco
  15. Ford
  16. Whole Foods Market
  17. Southwest Airlines
  18. Wegmans Food Market
  19. Goodwill Industries
  20. Pepsi
  21. Nike
  22. American Express
  23. Zappos
  24. REI
  25. Kohl’s


Performance Inspired’s Most Inspiring Companies™ list is built through an online survey sent to over 10,000 U.S. households with incomes of $24,000 +, age 25 plus. A total of 4,738 people completed responses in the 25 top MSA’s (n=75). Sample provided by Survey Sampling International. The final score for inspiration includes measures of both inspirational reach and fervency. Respondents were first asked to mention the names of up to 5 companies they find inspiring. They were then asked to focus on the one company they found most inspiring. To determine the Top 25 list, each company was ranked by multiplying the number of overall mentions by the number of respondents who chose them as “most inspiring.”

Read the article on this 2012 MIC report.


2011 Most Inspiring Companies Survey: Leveraging Capital and Influence to Make the World a Better Place

Over the last few years, the world’s economic situation has taken a toll not only on consumer’s investment portfolio but has also made a withdrawal on their emotional bank accounts.  A record number of workers are both disgruntled at work and are actively looking for new places of employment.

Consumer sentiment is not that much different when it comes to being cynical about their future.

But, as always, America by and large continues to have hope.  But, for the first time, according to the Global Institute’s of Inspiration’s latest research project:

•39% of respondents believe a better America will come about through the inspirational behavior of business.
•In fact, over 2,000 consumers indicated that they have absolute zero hope in government doing anything to make the world a better place.
•Only 22% thought that the church and/or synagogue could play that role.

As you might expect, 39% thought that the nonprofit sector would do the most to make the world a better place. But, what about business?

Never in our history has Business had more of an opportunity to do something, well, inspiring.  According to GII’s latest research, consumers are not only feeling inspired by certain business, consumers are acting inspired by spending more with their Most Inspiring Companies™ while evangelizing others about their inspiring experience.

It is our hope at the Global Institute for Inspiration that regardless of the size of the business you own or work within, take the opportunity to read and apply the very principles of inspiration uncovered in this project.

Read the article on this 2011 MIC report release. 


    For more information on our research, please contact Terry Barber at or Carol Chapman at

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    About Us

    We are a management consulting and training firm that focuses on employee engagement and leadership development.

    We help leaders discover and activate the Science of Inspiration™ and not just the science of motivation.

    Engage, Inspire. Perform