Every company would love to be the most reputable company in the world, but only a few have what it takes and know what to do to become one.
A company’s reputation resides in the minds of its stakeholders. It is the result of their estimations of the company’s values and perception of its performance across certain key domains called reputation drivers. Such drivers include quality of products and services, social impact, innovation, corporate governance and financial performance among others.
For several years and across several reputation ranking systems, quality of goods and services and social impact or CSR dominated the number one spot as reputation drivers. Now, that has changed. Weber Shandwick latest research report, The Company Behind The Brand II: In Goodness We Trust, reveals that consumers perception in terms of how companies minister to their well being and emotional connection is now the number one driver of corporate reputation.
According to the report consumers now expect companies to get to them at a personal level. They also expect them to consider their well being and emotional connection in the products they offer and in the way they conduct their services. This is reflected in the topics they discuss and in the information they share about companies as shown here:
Consumers in Action
The report reveals consumers are not just talking; they are matching their words with actions. 46% say they buy from companies that make them feel good, 45% check labels to see the company behind the brand and 43% buy from companies that care about their wellbeing.
Consumer on the Watch
The research also reveals that today’s consumers watch the actions of companies closely in order to determine which to relate with. This is how they learn about companies:
The research which was conducted by Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, and polled 2,100 consumers and 1,050 senior executives of companies across 21 markets in the world in an online survey presents some key lessons for PR professionals:
- Wellness and peace of mind a product or service delivers is key to a good corporate reputation.
- How a company responds to issues or crisis facing it affects its reputation.
- Consumers don’t just patronize products or services that offer them wellbeing and emotional connection, they ensure they are buying from parent companies they trust.
- Promoting word of mouth communication, especially among consumers, builds a company’s reputation.