“I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation.”
– Joan Jett

Our hero

To quote the ever erudite Homer Simpson,  “Doh!”

A new study from The U.S. Reputation Pulse found that having a strong reputation in 2010 translate into a strong financial performance. Check out this excerpt from the organization’s news release on the report:

Having a strong reputation in 2010 yields more recommendation, more benefit of the doubt and more purchase behavior than ever before. In comparing the Top 10 to the Bottom 10 measured companies, the general public is:

– 300% more likely to verbally support or give the benefit of the doubt;
– 200% more likely to consider products; and
– 350% more likely to purchase products of highly regarded companies.

Should anyone still doubt the value of investing in an integrated public relations strategy, quite frankly they deserve to work alongside Homer at the nuclear power plant.

See more news releases in: Publishing & Information Services, Surveys, Polls and Research

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

Study Shows Quantifiable Drivers of Corporate Reputation and Links to Bottom Line Results

NEW YORK, April 20 /PRNewswire/ — Johnson & Johnson takes the top spot for the second consecutive year as the most reputable U.S. company on Reputation Institute’s 2010 U.S. Reputation Pulse. Kraft Foods, Kellogg, The Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo, and Sara Lee rounded out the top tier of U.S. companies in 2010, all with excellent reputations. AIG, the beleaguered financial services firm, continued to dwell at the bottom of the list, finishing 150th out of the 150 companies included in the survey. PepsiCo and Microsoft moved into the top 10 from last year along with newcomers to the study Kellogg, Dean Foods, and Sara Lee. The Reputation Pulse measures the corporate reputations of the largest U.S. companies based on consumers’ trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling about a company while also gauging perceptions across seven rational dimensions of reputation.

Strong Reputations Lead to Lucrative Bottom-Line Results

According to the U.S. Reputation Pulse findings, Corporate Reputation has an increased impact on business results — a company’s reputation score has a positive and direct link to consumer attitudes and behaviors. Having a strong reputation in 2010 yields more recommendation, more benefit of the doubt and more purchase behavior than ever before. In comparing the Top 10 to the Bottom 10 measured companies, the general public is:

  • 300% more likely to verbally support or give the benefit of the doubt;
  • 200% more likely to consider products; and
  • 350% more likely to purchase products of highly regarded companies.

“In today’s tough economic climate, corporate reputation is critical to sustaining and growing business,” said Anthony Johndrow, Partner & Managing Director, Reputation Institute North America. “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. A good reputation is not just a nice-to-have; it’s a bottom-line business imperative.”

It Pays to Communicate

Respondents who indicate they have bought a company’s products or utilized a customer support service tend to rate those companies higher, indicating that direct experience has the greatest impact on corporate reputation. Third party messages, from the media, online or other people, tend to have a negative effect. Reputation Institute’s findings show that respondents who were reached by companies’ corporate actions and/or communications initiatives scored them 3 points above the U.S. mean.

In fact, a consumer who has encountered a company’s marketing, branding, public relations or social responsibility efforts on average rates the company higher regardless of their reputation ranking—even companies with weak reputations can gain from telling their side of the story.

How to Tell Your Corporate Story

The Reputation Pulse study proves that excellent reputations are built across seven dimensions: Products/Services, Innovation, Governance, Workplace, Citizenship, Leadership and Performance. In the U.S., statistical analysis shows that each dimension accounts for over 12 percent of reputation.

Johndrow sums up the key insight from this reputation driver analysis: “We all know that people care and talk more than ever about the companies behind the products and services they use and they are talking about them. Join this conversation and tell your corporate story to create the support needed in tough times. Corporations can create deeper connections than products can alone, essentially deploying who they are as a company to drive business results.”

Drivers differ by industry, country and stakeholder group. In 2010, across all U.S. companies, Products/Services, followed by Governance, then Citizenship are the most influential dimensions.

Additional Highlights from 2010

  • 10 companies (Chubb, McDonald’s, Archer Daniels Midland, SunTrust Banks, ExxonMobil, AutoNation, Humana, Marathon Oil, CITGO and Staples) increased their reputation scores by seven points or more from 2009
  • U.S. consumers feel the most respected and reputable industries, as measured by the reputations of the biggest companies are: 1) Food Manufacturing, 2) Consumer Products, 3) Transportation & Logistics, 3) Computers, 4) Industrial Products, and 5) General Retail.
  • With mergers, bankruptcies and bail-outs, financial industries suffered the most with the greatest negative individual company changes in reputation. Paradoxically, utilities and communications companies improved as a whole.

Global Reputation Pulse – U.S. Top 25

Rank

1

Company

Johnson & Johnson

Global Pulse Score

85.82

2

Kraft Foods Inc.

84.84

3

Kellogg

82.78

4

The Walt Disney Company

82.11

5

PepsiCo

81.20

6

Sara Lee

80.04

7

Google

79.31

8

Microsoft

79.28

9

UPS

78.93

10

Dean Foods

78.79

11

General Mills

78.46

12

Apple

78.36

13

Publix Super Markets Inc.

78.27

14

Caterpillar

78.07

15

Colgate-Palmolive

77.99

16

Eastman Kodak

77.73

17

Staples

77.70

18

FedEx

77.59

19

HJ Heinz

77.46

20

3M

77.15

21

Amazon.com

76.94

22

Hewlett-Packard

76.92

23

Intel

76.88

24

The Coca-Cola Company

76.86

25

Whirlpool

76.81

Accessing the Global Reputation Pulse 2010 Findings

For more information about the U.S. Reputation Pulse findings go to www.ReputationInstitute.com to view a video of Reputation Institute Partner & Managing Director Anthony Johndrow discussing key conclusions from the 2010 results and download a PDF of the top line report which includes the full 150 U.S. ranking.

About the Global Reputation Pulse 2010 Study

The Global Reputation Pulse 2010 was conducted online in January and February 2010. A Pulse score is a measure of corporate reputation calculated by averaging perceptions of four indicators — trust, esteem, admiration, and good feeling — obtained from a representative sample of at least 100 local respondents who were familiar with the company. Scores range from a low of 0 to a high of 100, Pulse scores that differ by more than +/-0.5 are significantly different at the 95% confidence level. The U.S. mean for all 150 companies included in the study was 67.38. Top line reports on the 2010 Global Reputation Pulse findings can be downloaded at www.ReputationInstitute.com.

About Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute is the world’s leading reputation consulting firm. As a pioneer in the field of brand and reputation management, Reputation Institute helps companies unlock the power of reputation. With a presence in 30 countries, Reputation Institute is dedicated to advancing knowledge about reputation and shares best practices and current research through client engagement, memberships, seminars, conferences, and publications such as Corporate Reputation Review. Reputation Institute’s 2010 Global Reputation Pulse is the largest study of corporate reputations in the world, identifying what drives reputation and covering more than 1,500 companies from 32 countries annually. Reputation Institute provides specific reputation insight from more than 15 different stakeholder groups and 24 industries, allowing clients to create tangible value from their intangible assets.

Visit www.ReputationInstitute.com to learn how you can unlock the power of your reputation.

Contact:

Adam Shoer, Reputation Institute

(212) 495-3855 x307, ashoer@reputationinstitute.com

SOURCE Reputation Institute

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“When the whip comes down.”
– The Rolling Stones

"Whoa, Nellie!"

Question:  In 2010, how many buggy whip manufacturers were there in the Fortune 500 list?  How about the Fortune 1000 list?  Heck, I’ll spot you another 1,000 and bet my Beatles collection you can’t find one there either.  Why?  Because buggy whip manufacturers knew that things like Twitter and Facebook were just silly fads that would soon wear out their welcome.  And besides, those new companies were only for teenagers and other such unrefined persons.
Okay, that might not be exactly what they said, but the end result was the same.  Those captains of industry refused to recognize or respond to the massive shifts in consumers’ needs, desires and behaviors that swirled around them.  For whatever reason – whether they were blind, scared and just too set in their ways – they refused to believe that Hank Ford’s Tin Lizzy might just catch on with folks.

Oh and one more thing.  Split Enz, a 1980s band out of New Zealand that later morphed into Crowded House, once sang: “History never repeats, I tell myself before I go to sleep.”  I wonder what the buggy whip titans 100 years ago told themselves at bedtime.

We may shake our heads in wonder at their naivete today, but might we – or our clients – be guilty of the same thing?  I vote yes.  We need only look as far as our laptops and iPhones for confirmation.

Quite frankly, any company that serves consumers and doesn’t believe it needs to monitor and provide customer service through channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others deserves what it gets.  In 2008, such a perspective may have been understandable.  In 2010 with the very public and very painful lessons we’ve seen, such a perspective is unbelievable (and unfair to its employees, shareholders and customers).  Attached below is a great post I came across in Business Week that explains this better than I ever could.  Take three minutes and give this a spin; it will be time well-spent, I can assure you.

Defeating the Dark Side of Social Networking

Companies can’t rein in the conversations happening on social networks and blogs, but they can respond to their most vocal customers

By Joseph Hughes and Chris Boudreaux

For all of its blessings, social media Web sites are vexing lots of companies. The instantaneous sharing of information and opinions about products on Twitter, blogs, and other sites is compelling companies to try to influence these conversations through technology and new ways of thinking.

Businesses don’t really need to worry any longer about losing control of what consumers are saying about them on the Web; that control is pretty much gone. Many companies are being victimized by social media rather than capitalizing on it because they’re too slow and ill-equipped to react to negative comments that can damage their brands. For example, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in 2008 had to apologize for an online ad for its painkiller Motrin after a backlash of comments from mothers in the blogosphere who objected to the advertisement’s tone.

To be sure, companies can generate sales leads and gain market share by promoting themselves through tweets and blogs. Dell’s (DELL) IdeaStorm site, which lets consumers suggest enhancements and fixes to products, is one prominent example. Nearly half of Internet users say they value information from other consumers more than information supplied by companies, according to Forrester Research (FORR).

Companies Slow to Respond

For the most part, though, companies are too slow to respond to the online flood of information being published about them by consumers. Since it’s easier than ever for customers to tell each other when service is bad, responding quickly is critical. Repeat buying is usually driven by positive customer service, not price, Accenture’s (ACN) research shows.

But many organizations can take weeks or months to react to negative conversations, leaving far too much time for damage to set in. Even worse, some companies don’t respond at all.

Let’s look at some examples of vendors that have taken the initiative in sorting, analyzing, and responding to the data pouring in through social media. These companies are taking steps to combine the sort of free-form information flowing in from blogs, e-mails, and tweets with data stored in traditional database software, in order to make judgments about where customers’ concerns lie.

Software maker Attivio is developing the ability to analyze both those kinds of data to help companies detect the social media buzz about them. Then its software helps companies feed that information into their customer management systems to react to those findings. Clarabridge, a maker of “text mining” software, makes tools that combine linguistic rules with machine learning techniques to help companies categorize customer comments and sentiments so they can react to them.

Note: This post originally appeared on Forge Ahead, the blog from Forge Communications.

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