By Mark Gell, Partner, Reputation Edge.
People tend to focus on reputation when things go bad rather than considering why your reputation matters when things are good.
Research has proven that customers like to buy from companies that have a good reputation. Companies with a good reputation can charge more for their products and services and customers will also buy a greater range of goods. They also command a higher value for their company when that company is sold.
If this is the case then why do people have reputation management as an after thought?
Why do management wait until the proverbial hits the wall before calling in the cleaners to try and fix what has been broken?
Building a reputation takes time and it can be broken with one incident. Reputation management touches every part of an organisation and all its stakeholders. One point of weakness can open a wound across the whole organisation which in some instances can become critical and cause major value damage to the organisation, make customers and suppliers turn away and investors hesitant about investing.
Doing an assessment of a company’s reputation and defining where a company is vulnerable is key to developing a sound reputation management plan.
Elements of that plan include an assessment of where the company is meeting its promise and where it isn’t meeting that promise across all its operations. Ultimately, a company’s reputation is its word, which becomes its story. After all, people don’t buy products or services they buy the story behind the products and services.