April 27, 2010
Having a strong corporate reputation inspires more consumer recommendations, benefit of the doubt and purchase behavior this year than ever before, says the 2010 U.S. Reputation Pulse. The study from the Reputation Institute, a reputation-consulting firm, measures the corporate reputations of the largest U.S. companies based on consumers’ trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling about a company. The findings suggest that in today’s economic climate, corporate reputation has an increased impact on business results.
“This year’s results illustrate a direct correlation between how well a company manages its reputation and how likely consumers are to recommend or reject the company,” Anthony Johndrow, the institute’s partner and managing director, said in a statement. “A good reputation is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a bottom-line business imperative.”
A customer’s direct experience with a company’s products or services has the greatest impact on corporate reputation, the study found. Exposure to marketing messages seems to help, too: On average, a consumer who’s encountered a company’s marketing, branding, public relations or social-responsibility efforts will rate the company higher, suggesting that even companies with weak reputations can benefit from telling their side of the story. Conversely, third-party messages — from the media, Web sites or other people — tend to have a negative effect on a company’s reputation. — Greg Beaubien