Risk. Reputational risk has become a top issue for companies like Toyota, BP and Goldman Sachs this year. With the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP has sullied their sterling reputation and is paying the price for the damage they caused.
Evaluate. It is important to evaluate one’s reputation based on its assets such as leadership, stability and global reach. GE is well known for its infamous CEO, Jack Welch and the changes he made within the organization in order to make GE the world’s most competitive enterprise.
Protect/Preserve. One must protect one’s reputation and image during periods of crises. For example, when the Tiger Woods scandal surfaced, Woods was forced to address the media. In order to protect his stellar athlete reputation, Tiger apologized, admitted his wrongdoings and acknowledged having undergone treatment to deal with his behavior.
Ubiquitous. Reputation by definition is an ubiquitous, spontaneous and highly efficient mechanism of social control in natural societies.
Transparency. Companies who embrace transparency can gain trust from their consumers, therefore increasing their brand image. For example, Turkcell, a leading communications and technology company in Turkey, has been among the top five transparent companies in Europe for its financial disclosure procedures.
Advance. By uncovering and understanding an organization’s most valuable assets, one can build and advance its reputation.
The consequences. There are a few consequences that exist, some supportive and some obstructive. For example, BP has upset many of its stakeholders, not placing them at the center of its strategy and its reputation is suffering as a result.
Identity. It is considered as a component of the identity defined by others. Companies have many different identities according to their structure, culture, industry, etc. For example, Johnson & Johnson is known as a leader in the consumer health care products and services industry and Google is known for their unique company culture.
Online. Protecting your online reputation is just as vital as your offline reputation. The Web is a viral breeding ground for the good, the bad and the ugly. Anything that is posted about you will likely be visible on the web so it is important to monitor it and keep your reputation untarnished.
Nike, Coca-Cola and Microsoft. These are all winners of BusinessWeek’s Top 100 Brands.