Successful leaders and organizations understand the value of building, strengthening, and defending their reputation. Reputation is defined as: the beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something. If we take a broader look at society, we believe that consumers are morally aligned with the brands they invest in and purchase from, more than they ever have before. In fact, 92% of millennials prefer to purchase from companies they feel are ethical….and 70% of them will pay more for products and services from socially responsible companies. So, the question is…what is the real value of investing in your reputation? Our answer, priceless.
It is crucial to establish a business with a healthy foundation that embraces sound leadership, strategy, and communications tenants, and enables a transparent relationship with your workforce and consumer base. The court of public opinion is interested in who you are and what you have to say as a brand – especially when crisis occurs. Remember, the court of public opinion renders judgments much more quickly than any other ‘court.’
Not too long ago, Wells Fargo was leading the headlines for creating fraudulent savings and checking account on behalf of clients without their consent. What happened? Misreported sales numbers, billions in settlements, significant stock underperformance, and a change in leadership at the top.
In a different but related event with Boeing, investigators found faulty 737 Max designs and training manuals which contributed to hundreds of deaths and grounding of hundreds of aircrafts. Once the news broke, their CEO was terminated and numerous layoffs occurred. The lawsuits began to pile in, $18 billion earnings loss (2019), and again a significant drop in the stock price.
We tell every client, “reputation leads to trust, and trust leads to valuation – and remember, not all currency is financial” – because it’s the truth. By creating a strong relationship with your stakeholder base, and proactively telling your story, you can maintain a brand with a healthy reputation that is essential for success in today’s world.