BRAND REPUTATION: YOU MUST EARN IT

“You can’t buy a good reputation; you must earn it.” One can definitely agree with Harvey Mackay on this as the principle applies in every era, more so in current times. Reputation is a commitment that keeps brands focused towards solving an ethically dangerous problem. In particular there are two types of firms, ‘Incompetent’ firms that can only exert low effort due to a lack of commitment, or ‘Competent’ firms that have a choice between high and low effort, yet they desire the higher ground. These Competent firms indeed believe that Reputation is an asset that requires a resolve to build it and maintain it.
 
A customer is not a customer as long as trust is not involved. And, Trust is the first stride towards building a brand’s image. A brand with no reputation has very little to gain from the market and everything to lose. Competent brands distinguish themselves from the Incompetent ones by aiming at the best they could offer primarily because they want to win over not just a customer, but a loyal customer. The key objective behind adopting a visionary high ground towards creating a reputation is the aspiration to be at the top. This foresight defines the leadership of any brand.
 
Johnson & Johnson was mired in the worst of crises during 80s when the drug Tylenol became a curse for it. The company had to recall a massive stock leading to losses in millions. Nonetheless, this global brand soon analyzed the popular negative sentiment. It launched a major campaign to regain that trust and rescue its reputation while reinstating consumer confidence. With creative brand management efforts and strong public relations, the company was back in business. This is a classic example of a competent brand. This was years ago when technology was nowhere in sight.
 
Today reputation management has assumed broad dimensions with the onset of multiple online platforms where customers share their experiences. If unchecked and ignored these sentiments have the potential to destroy a brand.  To sum it all, it’s hard to build and sustain a good reputation whereas easy to lose it.