We hear the word reputation more often than ever before. We all have a well-nuanced understanding of the concept but at times aren’t able to put a finger on the pulse of reputation. There are few factors that drive reputation more than the others. I call them the ABC and the PQR.
They are explained in some detail below but in a nutshell, they are – Actions, Behaviour, Communication and People, Quality, Robustness that drive Reputation.
- Genuine Action – with direct stakeholders. This is about what a company does in the daily course of its business with the two most important set of people – customers and employees. A company can be made or broken by these two constituencies. Its actions have a great bearing on the people it exists for.
- Good Behaviour – with self, leading to transparency. These are linked to the value system of the company and are what a company does when no one is watching. It is about adhering to doing good to communities, giving back to society, innovating to make a better product or service.
- Great Communication – with all stakeholders. This is very much relevant with past and future employees and customers and not just current. It includes one-way communication as well as engagement that is generally two-ways. It is about choice of words, images and graphics in an ad. Language on the website and in a media release. It is also about customer care and responsiveness.
- People – at the company. These include those who are face of the company and also rest of those who work for and represent the brand. So there maybe a company with great products but the person at the helm may have a terrible personal track record. This will pull down the company at some point of time. Striking a balance is of utmost importance. And therefore, having the right set of leaders is very important. Authenticity in the way leaders interact publicly is key.
- Quality Product or Service – that speaks for itself, creating word of mouth and repeat purchase from existing and new customers. When product or quality suffers, the trust and respect of customers diminishes resulting in a backlash that is detrimental to the company. Consistency of the product and service with constant innovation is very important. It needs to be relevant to the times we live in.
- Robustness of finances and processes – coming largely from solid financial performance. Because if you have a great product and service, a solid management and superb communication but the company is not managing finances right and not making profits the customers and employees will not remain for long. This would ideally follow but needs to be seen accurately by all. Integrity and Respect stem from the financial solidity.