By Eric V | on 06/15/16

TJ Maxx, Best Buy, Target—the companies people don’t expect to last

Retailers, health insurance companies, and tech titans of yesteryear: You’ve been warned—Americans are losing faith in your longevity.

As part of our partnership with Fortune magazine, we asked people across the country what they thought about the image—and longevity—of the companies that made the Fortune 100 list. While there are plenty of companies Americans think will last a century (Disney took the top spot), we found that some companies that fit the categories above won’t last long—at least in Americans’ minds.

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It’s important to remember that the people who answered this survey aren’t financial experts, they haven’t researched the company’s longevity, and they probably haven’t even looked at the company’s financials.

Together, though, their sentiments can tell us a lot about the public perception of companies’ momentum. If a company’s financials are already on the way down, and peoples’ impressions of them are already negative, it can actually affect the success of the company. For example:

People think a lot of brick-and-mortar retail establishments will crumble

When we asked people which companies will be around in 100 years, Americans didn’t have high hopes for most big-box retailers in the Fortune 100. Here are some of the top retail companies, ranked out of 100 for how likely people think they are to be around in 100 years:

Target: No. 73
Costco: No. 51
TJX (TJ Maxx, Marshalls etc.): No. 94
Kroger: No. 57
Home Depot: No. 54
BestBuy: No. 95

We hear a lot about online retailers like Amazon and behemoths like Walmart (seriously, it made $482 billion last year) eating the lunch of big box stores. It seems like that message is really starting to get through to Americans. The ranks above show that Americans see even popular stores like Target to be not very likely to last.

How do Amazon and Walmart fare? They’re the 3rd and 4th most likely to be around in 100 years.

Health insurance companies aren’t lookin’ so good either

Health care, and health insurance in particular, is changing fast in the U.S. And it’s not just Obamacare that’s doing it. Americans don’t have a ton of faith in the survivability of some of the biggest health insurance companies in the U.S. Take a look at their ranks:

Anthem: No. 90
Cigna: No. 86
UnitedHealth: No. 75
Aetna: No. 67
Humana: No. 83

There’s an important corollary to these numbers, though. Anthem and Cigna are attempting to undergo a historic merger at the same time that Aetna and Humana are trying for a similar deal.

Do Americans see no future for these health insurance companies or do they see no future for them as they are now? It’s not clear from the data, but it does seem obvious that Americans everywhere are anticipating a lot of change in the industry.

‘Legacy’ tech companies may be in danger of being forgotten

When it comes to the technology industry, Americans aren’t sure of the longevity of the old-guard companies—even if they’re gigantic and profitable. For example, Americans aren’t particularly optimistic about some of the biggest companies in Silicon Valley:

Oracle: No. 77
HP: No. 63
Cisco: No. 44

While Americans see gloom ahead for these companies, many of them have endured a lot. And having fought their way into the Fortune 100, we should not underestimate their capacity to overcome any of the negative impressions that they might face.

Is your brand synonymous with long-term success? What attributes come to mind when consumers think of your company? The easiest way to find out is to ask.

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