Reputation Matters

The last time you needed some new clothes, or details about a new restaurant, a holiday destination, a car.... how did your search begin? And how did it end?

It's more than a fair bet that a recommendation came into your decision at some point - and it likely carried more weight than anything else!

Why do we listen to critics about food, theatres, films, cities, cars etc?

The pure and simple reason is “Reputation” - it really does Matter.

If it goes wrong, it can topple highly successful companies overnight. Get it right and in reality, the world is your oyster.

Around 80% of us won't do business with any company with a negative public perception, and any company that suffers any online bad content can also hit their revenue by over 75%!

Companies like Pret a Manger, Ryanair, Adidas, Johnson & Johnson and Uber, to name just a few, have all suffered big reputational hits, and there are some famous total "crashes" like Enron, which also brought down Arthur Anderson, and then our very own Gerald Ratner famous self-destruction at the IoD Conference in 1992. Reputation Matters.

Reputation is the outcome of building Trust, which itself is the outcome of doing what you say, keeping your promises and behaving in a way that conforms to value "norms" like honesty, integrity, loyalty, consideration and politeness to name just a few.

Surprisingly many companies forget this until they have a crisis, when suddenly the CEO's best friend is the Corporate Comms or Public Affairs Director!

Place branding is equally important. If a country, or city, wishes to build its profile (reputation) as a destination place to go, then there is a huge set of elements that need to work together in order to even begin to build that reputation. Ease of getting there, reception when you arrive, the reality of your actual experience against your expected experience (known as the Reality Gap) - it is complex and has many moving parts. But at the end of the day, the reputation of that country or city, will depend entirely on all those moving parts delivering on the expectations set. Fail to deliver, and the reputation will suffer.

More generally it is the "Your call is important to us" variety of poor customer service that prevails. Over 70% of consumers say they are sick of "random content" being thrown at them and chatbots or other automated so-called customer service front ends.

Within a Livery Company I'd say we have a double responsibility. One to the Livery as a whole, and the other to our Company, which of course is comprised of our membership. Our "Reputation" depends and relies upon the output of all our fantastic volunteers who are the fuel for our existence, the behaviours, involvement and output of our entire membership, and clearly on our Court which stewards the whole.

Something so central, so obvious so potentially destructive and yet so often ignored until it goes wrong, I thought that this central precept of Marketing was a good Principle (nee Theme) to use and promote during my own Master's Year - I hope you will agree and let me have any comments or feedback when and how you wish...I am genuinely very interested! Thank You.


Prof Ian Ryder

Master Marketor 2024

0207 796 2045