Brand and Reputation Harmony

November 01, 2012

Brand and Reputation Harmony

I attended a Council of PR Firms Critical Issues Forum about one week ago. However, I can now only think in terms of PHS (pre-Hurricane Sandy) and PostHS.  It feels like the world has been turned upside down since life has not yet to normal. My neighborhood is basically fine (meaning we have power) but everything seems different in some indescribable way. Since I cannot get to the office, I have been working at home. We will see what Monday brings.
I wanted to write about the survey that Harris Interactive did with the Council on the connection between brand and corporate reputation. This topic was the theme of the forum. As you know, this is a subject we at Weber Shandwick also know well — take a look at our report on The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust.  The Harris Interactive study analyzed results from several of their own studies (50,000 consumers) and VP Robert Fronk concluded: “Marketers might profitably think of themselves as operating in the corporate reputation business, while corporate communicators might think of themselves as operating more deeply in the product marketing business.” As we also found, brand and corporate reputation are now indivisible. The Harris Interactive analysis looked at three industries — auto, B2B and Food/Beverage. It is worth looking at their brochure, Hidden Harmony, which I highlighted above because it shows what drives purchase consideration and recommendation. To give you a taste, below are the drivers of purchase consideration for the auto industry. I was fascinated by the importance given by consumers of how employees are treated when it comes to perceptions of reputation in the auto industry. And no surprise that trust is high on the list for both brand and reputation. Brand consideration appears to be very me-centric (how it fits with my own image, seeing it everywhere, brand is exciting). For reputation, in constrast, the drivers are very company-centric. They are different but when strengthened together, they are a powerful punch. They should not be siloed.









Fits with how I think of myself

Emotional appeal-trust, admiration and respect


Brand has an excitement surrounding it

Rewards its employees fairly


Trust the brand to fulfill its promises

Offers high quality products and services


I see this brand everywhere I go

Offers products and services that are a good value for the money

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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