Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Corporate Reputation is Important

It could be that this headline says it all:
"Seventy-One Percent of Consumers Say the Reputation Of Corporate America Is "Poor", But Consumers Will Buy, Recommend and Invest in Companies that Concentrate on Building Their Corporate Reputation"
This headlined an article from Harris Interactive discussing their Reputation QuotientTM (RQ) survey. I don't think it's any big surprise that consumers don't trust big business. In this economy when we see large firms, (like the big bad oil companies) realize huge profits while the rest of us struggle to pay our bills, the majority of people have had it up to here with big business.

So, if you happen to be a big business, or if you help big firms market to consumers (like we do), what do you do with this news? Luckily, there is an action-plan (and some advice) to be found.
"But despite a slide in Corporate America’s image among consumers, the RQ found that a strong statistical correlation exists between a company’s overall reputation and the likelihood that consumers will purchase, recommend or invest in a company or its products and services."
In a nutshell, be good to your employees. Make honest and fair business decisions. Make sure that your 'goodness' is shared/communicated with the public. Listen to your customers and make them happy. Build your reputation. Do all of that and your customers will like you; they'll buy from you. You'll get more just like them.

Sounds pretty easy, eh?

Here's more from the article, talking about how Google clinched the number 1 spot on the RQ rankings.
What does it take to get to the top? Google provides a case in point. Four years ago, the company was not included among the top 60 most visible companies on the list. But this year, Google rose to No. 1, beating last year’s RQ reputation leader, Microsoft. Google also beat this year’s second-runner-up, Johnson & Johnson, which was the top ranked company, until last year, since the inception of the survey in 1999.

"How did Google achieve this stratospheric climb? The company scores either in first or second place on reputation drivers of financial performance, vision/leadership, social responsibility and workplace environment," says Fronk of Harris Interactive. "For Americans to hold a company in high regards today, clearly more than just profits are needed – companies need to focus on overall corporate social responsibility and how their employees are treated in order to build trust with today’s consumers." It’s interesting to note that Google ranked No. 2 on the social responsibility dimension, but does not even make the top five of companies based on its support of good causes, the environment or communities. "Google received a top-ranking for social responsibility primarily due to their workplace environment," Fronk notes, "demonstrating that corporate responsibility, in the minds of consumers, starts with your own employees first."

If you're interested in how other companies fared in terms of their reputation, you can download the list of the top 60 companies here.

No comments: