REP­U­TA­TION, RE­SILIENCY, AND RE­SULTS

New Zealand Marketing - - INz Marketing / Ipsos - Trent Ross, Co-di­rec­tor of the Ip­sos Global Rep­u­ta­tion Cen­tre, and Jonathan Dodd, Re­search Di­rec­tor, Ip­sos New Zealand. Con­tact: Jonathan Dodd Re­search Di­rec­tor Ip­sos NZ 021 538 634 [email protected]­sos.com

The Ip­sos Global Rep­u­ta­tion Cen­tre re­cently un­der­took a mas­sive study of the rep­u­ta­tion of more than 100 of the world’s largest com­pa­nies to ex­am­ine the fac­tors that con­trib­ute to rep­u­ta­tional suc­cess and re­siliency in the face of cri­sis. The re­search ranked com­pa­nies into Trust Tiers, and ex­plores what makes com­pa­nies in the top Trust Tier dif­fer­ent, how they per­form fi­nan­cially, the im­pact of trust on re­siliency in the face of cri­sis, and the in­ter-re­la­tion­ship be­tween trust and Cor­po­rate So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity (CSR) on a com­pany’s core busi­ness per­for­mance.

WHY BUILD TRUST?

Why trust? In our view, if you are build­ing trust you are build­ing rep­u­ta­tion.

Care­ful man­age­ment of one’s rep­u­ta­tion is a key gen­er­a­tor of value for com­pa­nies. Value is un­locked both as stored rep­u­ta­tion eq­uity in times of cri­sis as well as in cre­at­ing greater busi­ness ef­fi­ciency for the com­pany through:

• Reg­u­la­tors: giv­ing you a seat at the ta­ble when stake­hold­ers and leg­is­la­tors are mak­ing de­ci­sions about your or­gan­i­sa­tion.

• NGOS: propen­sity to work with or against you.

• Con­sumers: greater mar­ket­ing ef­fi­ciency, con­sumers’ de­sire to buy your prod­ucts and/ or ser­vices.

• Em­ploy­ees: the abil­ity to at­tract the best em­ploy­ees, em­ployee pride in work­ing for you, em­ployee like­li­hood to work well for the com­pany.

• Me­dia: dis­po­si­tion to re­port pos­i­tively or neg­a­tively about you, will­ing­ness to hear/ present your side of the story.

• In­vestors: con­fi­dence to in­vest in you, will­ing­ness to ride out down­turns.

ABOUT COM­PA­NIES IN THE TOP TRUST TIER

The top Trust Tier com­pa­nies are nearly all global house­hold names and have been able to trans­fer the best as­pects of their coun­try brand into the global mar­ket­place. In­ter­est­ingly, sec­tors most likely to be in the top Trust Tier are in tech­nol­ogy, food and bev­er­age, whereas the least trusted brands are in fi­nance and oil /min­ing.

TRUSTED COM­PA­NIES ARE MORE RE­SILIENT AND HAVE A BET­TER FI­NAN­CIAL PER­FOR­MANCE

Com­pa­nies with stronger rep­u­ta­tions that had weath­ered re­cent crises were per­ceived to be re­cov­er­ing much more quickly than those with lower lev­els of trust.

Trusted com­pa­nies also per­form bet­ter fi­nan­cially. While the two mid­dle and bot­tom tiers have re­mained es­sen­tially static from the be­gin­ning of 2015, the share­mar­ket in­dex for the most trusted com­pa­nies in­creased by 68-points, thus prov­ing that be­ing trusted ben­e­fits the bot­tom line!

WHAT MAKES TOP TRUST TIER COM­PA­NIES DIF­FER­ENT?

Top Trust Tier com­pa­nies are strong across all as­pects of busi­ness, from staff, prod­uct and ser­vice qual­ity to in­no­va­tion and so­cial im­pact, and th­ese strengths are closely con­nected and used to­gether. All types of com­pa­nies have the po­ten­tial to be­come a top Trust Tier com­pany, as long as they’re will­ing to put in a strong effort to man­age their rep­u­ta­tion.

TRUST DIF­FER­ENCES AROUND THE WORLD

Trust in com­pa­nies varies greatly around the world but some clear pat­terns emerge. With the ex­cep­tion of peo­ple in the United States, those in more es­tab­lished com­mer­cial economies such as West­ern Europe, Aus­tralia and (by ex­ten­sion) New Zealand tend to be the least trust­ing of busi­ness brands. In con­trast, de­vel­op­ing coun­tries tend to have the most trust­ing peo­ple. This has im­pli­ca­tions for global brands who will get very dif­fer­ent re­sults from their ac­tiv­i­ties in dif­fer­ent coun­tries. It also raises the ques­tion about why coun­tries with the great­est ex­po­sure to mod­ern mar­ket­ing have be­come the least trust­ing.

THE FI­NAL WORD

Top Trust Tier com­pa­nies are able to un­lock the value of their rep­u­ta­tion ir­re­spec­tive of eco­nomic con­di­tions or con­sumer scep­ti­cism, al­low­ing the most trusted com­pa­nies to de­velop and main­tain a pos­i­tive feed­back loop to fi­nan­cial suc­cess. Trust en­ables com­pa­nies to op­er­ate more ef­fi­ciently and with fewer head­winds – thus in­creas­ing their like­li­hood of fi­nan­cial suc­cess. In ad­di­tion, highly trusted com­pa­nies are also more re­silient in the face of cri­sis, al­low­ing them to more quickly over­come crises and get back to run­ning their busi­ness suc­cess­fully.

The fact that the top Trust Tier com­pa­nies tend to be ma­jor brands is not just about mar­ket­ing bud­gets, as they all were once small com­pa­nies, and those in some sec­tors still strug­gle to win trust de­spite size and longevity. This demon­strates that it is never too late to ex­am­ine and man­age one’s com­pany per­for­mance through the lens of rep­u­ta­tion.

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