New Top 10 Reputation Macro-Trends That Are Moving the Financial Markets and the World

CR Global RepTrak

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS (January 15, 2019) – Reputation Institute globally tracks and analyzes stakeholder perceptions in 25 industries, across 40 countries, and for more than 7,600 companies. Last year, the firm partnered with leading publicly and privately held multi-national companies, by measuring their reputation and uncovering valuable insight into how and when to take meaningful action that results in enhanced reputation – and greater financial returns.

“We mined our extensive reputation database and spoke to reputation leaders from around the world to identify new macro-trends that are shaping the reputation of companies and keeping C-Suite Execs up at night,” explains Reputation Institute’s Chief Reputation Officer, Stephen Hahn-Griffiths.

As the world transitions into the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the global economy becomes increasingly impacted by the intangibles that continue to define companies, Reputation Institute research has uncovered ten emerging trends that shape the reputation of companies but also highlight the potential areas of heightened risk. 

In a new era driven by the internet of things, and the advent of cyber-physical systems, AI, global climate changes, and evolving human values, there are new reputational market forces at play that are impacting companies far and wide. In many ways, this represents a strategic inflection point for the corporate world and makes increasingly challenging for companies to successfully navigate the reputation economy where the intangibles matter more than ever.

With all this mind, expect to see these emerging trends and powerful forces in play – all directly impacting reputation throughout 2019:  

1. Higher Purpose – Companies need to deliver on a corporate brand purpose and embrace cultural values, at an emotional level that transcends the products and services they sell.

2. Cyber Attacks / Data Security – Cyber and data breaches are an everyday reality and a growing threat for all major companies.

3. Market Influencers – Finding ways to influence the influencers, who exist as ordinary people but have extraordinary market impact on reputation.
 
4. Employer of Choice
– There’s an increased importance of company culture and resultant its impact on employee engagement and talent acquisition. 

5. CEO Activism – CEOs of major companies are increasingly taking a public stand on political, social, and values-based issues, not just concerned about their bottom lines.

6. Fake News – The proliferation of fake content and opinionated news reporting fueled by social media has resulted in a decline of trust in the media, government, and corporations.

7. Nationalism vs. Globalism – Corporate strategy decision-making is torn between the need to think globally and act locally in a time of growing national identities and push-back on globalization, as part of an intensely competitive multi-national marketplace

8. Political Polarization – There is a growing political divide in stakeholder opinions affecting company culture, government relations, sales growth, business partnerships, and stakeholder support.

9. Female Empowerment – There is a movement towards emerging female empowerment that necessitates a new cultural narrative that doesn’t accept inequality, or gender bias.
 
10. Tension on Trade Tariffs – There is a direct and indirect reputational impact on a company's perceived national sovereignty, due to growing global trade tariffs.

“Given the underlying social and economic power these reputational macro-trends represent, companies need to be more cautious about how they navigate the headwinds and tailwinds in 2019,” explains Reputation Institute’s Chief Reputation Officer, Stephen Hahn-Griffiths.

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