Your Reputation Precedes You

I heard an ad on the radio this morning for Wegman’s, and immediately called my husband to report the grocer is opening a store in Northborough (which really isn’t near us at all, but the point is, they’re coming to the Boston area).

Wegman's, reputation, communications, public relations

Interior of a Wegman's

For those of you who are unfamiliar, Wegman’s is a fantastic grocery chain based in upstate New York, which also has locations in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland and in the Washington D.C. area. I just took a quick poll in my office – about one third of my office has heard of Wegman’s. One woman (who hasn’t been there herself) conveyed her father’s enthusiasm for the store, and that they’re planning an outing next time she goes to visit him. I’m finding this kind of reaction re: Wegman’s is typical (my husband and father both rave about the chain, too). Who wouldn’t like a store that has live music in its cafe on Friday nights?

I’ve become pretty adept at tuning out radio ads, so what made the Wegman’s ad break through the other talk-radio announcements this morning? The brand, of course. But, also, the delivery and the content. The message was delivered by Wegman’s CEO – just one person talking to listeners. Nothing fancy, no bells and whistles, which made the content stand out. Their CEO was talking about what a great place Wegman’s is to work, the generous benefits it offers employees, its commitment to employees, and that it’s opening a store in Northborough.

Wegman’s commitment, “Every Day You Get Our Best,” appears to extend through the chain – from the way the company treats its employees, to the quality of its products, to its outstanding customer service. Wegman’s was ranked #3 on FORTUNE magazine’s 2010 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and has been on the list every year since it began in 1998, achieving the #1 spot in 2005.

Our Monday posts are often about ‘reputation tools’; your strongest tool can be your mission, if you can uphold it (doing so consistently is a very significant challenge). If you can do that, you don’t need fancy advertisements and promotions, because your product will speak for itself.

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