Performance Inspired Announces America’s Most Inspiring Companies™

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Performance Inspired, Inc., a national consulting and training company based in Atlanta, announces the results of its 2013 Most Inspiring Companies™ survey—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,”

Infographic on America’s Most Inspiring Companies

“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.”

In describing what an inspiring company looks like, companies fell into one of four dimensions:

1. Purpose Driven – a company uses their profit and influence to make the world a better place.

Whole Foods – “It is clear that the mission of Whole Foods is much more about doing good and yet I know they are incredibly profitable.”

Microsoft – “I know Microsoft makes a ton of money but you can’t say that they are not using a lot of it for schools and health around the world.”

2. Passionate – a company known for having passionate employees who are inspired by their work:

Disney – “It’s so apparent that everyone I meet who works for Disney loves what they do so much.”

Chick-fil-a – “What other fast food place waits on your table and then says it’s my pleasure! I love these folks.”

3.    Visionary – a company who has big ideas and dreams and makes those ideas and dreams become a reality:

Apple – “Apple never ceases to surprise me with their ideas and innovative technologies.”

Google – “NASA should just give their building to Google and let Google do space.”

Amazon – “I love how Amazon is helping the little guys become entrepreneurs.”

4.    Empowering – a company known for encouraging and empowering people to achieve their goals:

Nike – “Nike commercials and Nike shoes give me the confidence to take the next step.”

COKE - “I have seen where Coke has donated a lot of money to poor schools and sent employees to volunteer to teach and mentor.”

REI – “I learn something cool about outdoor recreation every time I go into REI. I get pumped up talking to people who work there.”

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.
  • This was the first year respondents were asked to identify themselves as a present or former employee of the companies they mentioned. 12% of respondents met that criteria, making it possible to see the link between an inspiring employee culture and an inspiring customer culture. The companies represented by these employees were Chick-fil-A, Whole Foods, Costco and Apple. Several respondents actually wrote in how much they are inspired based on how a company treats employees.

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.     COKE
12.     Apple
13.     Starbucks

14.    Costco
15.     Ford
16.     Wholefoods
17.     Southwest Airlines
18.     Wegman’s 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 $25,000 +, 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.”

About Performance Inspired, Inc.

Performance Inspired ( is a consultancy helping organizations leverage inspiration to increase performance and engagement within the workplace and global marketplace. The company produces an extensive portfolio of interviews, videos, webinars and speaking engagements relating to elevated workplace performance and customer advocacy.

Contact: Lisa Tilt, lisa(at)fulltiltconsulting(dot)com

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Terry Barber
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