MILAN – Reputation is everything in the business world.

In a Reputation Institute poll of 3,200 Italians, Ferrero, the chocolate and confectionery brand, landed in the top slot for Italy’s RepTrak 2015 ranking of the best-loved companies operating in Italy, earning a score of 89.5, while BMW and Barilla secured second and third place, respectively.

Fashion and accessories companies made a respectable showing in the list, with four among the top 20. Giorgio Armani Group was ranked fourth, Luxottica eighth, Calzedonia 17th and Prada 19th.

“Consumers today buy [products] in part based on their respect for companies; companies today cannot hide their behavior,” said Michele Tesoro-Tess, managing director of the Reputation Institute in Italy and the Middle East. He added: “Product quality being equal, the determining factors in people’s choices are corporate, that is, [people care how firms] do business and how they behave with their target audiences.”