Reputation, for Better or Worse
The Harris RQ (Reputation Quotient) was just released. It is an annual poll among nearly 28,000 Americans and focuses on those companies with the most visible reputations, for better or for worse. There is the usual ranking of most reputable companies down to the least reputable that we have all become accustomed to. This year they also surveyed a group of Opinion Elites who the researchers felt are likely to influence other stakeholders and perhaps carry more weight. Interestingly, the companies voted the best by the consuming public are not all that dissimilar to what the Opinion Elites voted in for their top 10. The degree of consensus is quite remarkable and leads me to think that the reputation know-how of consumers today is fairly deep. As we have found in our own research, the consumer is intent on investing their hard-earned money primarily in companies they trust, respect and know will have their backs.
In the press release from Harris Interactive, Carol Gstalder, Reputation and Public Relations Practice Leader for the Harris Poll, confirms our thinking, “The American public strongly believes reputation matters and acts on that belief. This year’s results show that more than half of the public actively seeks out information about companies they hear about or do business with, and 36% say they’ve decided against doing business with a company because of something they learned about its conduct. Companies need to evaluate and understand the increasing expectations consumers have when it comes to corporate reputation, specifically what they think, say and do, as well as how best to engage with them.”
Reputation matters to all stakeholders nowadays and has become a barometer for what people are buying, recommending and sharing with friends and family.