Tag Archives: Volkswagen

June 9, 2011 | cwinters | Tagged , , , , , ,

Reputation Begins At Home: Why Companies with “Top Reputations” Stay There, Despite Major Crises

MWW Group Building Blocks of Reputation

Using the MWW Group methodology and the critical elements of reputation,
organizations can build positive images methodically over time.

The Reputation Institute releases its Top 100 list for the Companies around the world with the best reputations. Google is No. 1 – despite the allegations of their heavy-handedness, litigation and other accusations of predatory behavior usually reserved for villains like the Big Bad Wolf. Also faring well were companies who have faced pretty significant reputational challenges this year, such as Sony & security, Johnson & Johnson’s steady stream of recalls, Nestle, a proverbial target for environmentalists and those opposed to infant formula and the mother of all crisis case studies – Toyota.

What does that mean?

First, when it comes to lists and rankings, perception lags reality – good or bad. It takes time for the lists to reflect recent events. It also suggests that there is merit to the schools of thought around goodwill banks, and my personal POV that how you respond to the crisis can have more significance than the crisis itself. But there are some other interesting learnings here:

1. Reputation begins at home. A key driver of Google’s performance on this reputation score was their workplace culture, governance and citizenship. Perhaps Google.org wasn’t a bust after all. To be considered for the list, companies had to rank high in their home market as a “table stakes” for consideration.

2. The Art of Storytelling – a quick breeze through the Top 10 suggests that the ability to tell a great story – to stand for something beyond just your products or services…whether it is innovation and design (Apple), family, fun and entertainment (Disney) or the Volkswagen lifestyle.

3. You’ve got to be relevant to consumers, even if you don’t sell directly to consumers – It is no surprise the big winners on this list are consumer brands, but it isn’t a requirement. Intel, No. 9 on the list, doesn’t sell anything to consumer directly. But they’ve done a great job making “Intel Inside” relevant to an audience far beyond the decision maker at Dell, for example.

The Reputation Institute also points out a key fact – the leaders on this list don’t treat Reputation as a brand imperative – they treat it as a business imperative – ingrained into their policies, business practices and operations.