Reflections on Earning Corporate Trust
My Interview with the American Marketing Association
Kylie Wright Ford, Chief Executive Officer, Reputation Institute
Recently I spoke with Brand Consultant Lisa Merriam from the American Marketing Association (AMA) to discuss one of the most galvanizing trends in reputation management for 2018 — trust in companies is lower than ever before.
Here at Reputation Institute, we spend most of our time measuring and analyzing company reputations by gathering the perceptions of consumers, investors, the public, employees, and influencers — then modeling the impact of these perceptions. In one of our key 2018 studies, we found that globally, reputation has fallen 1.4-points which is the first decline in seven years. This decline includes a 1.1-point decline in the EU 5 (UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) and a 3.7-point decrease in the US.
When I chatted with the AMA, I focused on three areas of opportunity that companies can prioritize to earn back trust:
- Do the right thing. Reputation depends on whether or not you, as a company, keep your brand's promise to your consumers. It's pretty simple: companies that break their brand's promise lose trust.
- Be intentional about your communication. Frequent, relevant, and authentic communication is what wins in reputation. Companies that consistently communicate an alignment between their purpose and their actions tend to outperform.
- Deliver a consistent experience. In our digital world, companies have opportunities to communicate frequently with their audience. This is a good thing when delivered with an overall strategy and consistent messaging. Brands that tell a consistent story outperform the rest, and earn higher levels of support from their stakeholders.
Since beginning my role as CEO of Reputation Institute just over 100-days ago, I have relished the opportunity to be part of this fascinating era where global trends (the fake news epidemic, CEO activism, and the increase in data privacy breaches) are having a bigger influence on individual company reputations than in the past. And while the reputation bubble might have burst for now, there is still much that we can do as leaders to rebuild our promise to the people who buy from us, work for us, and look to us for societal trends.
Brand trust is at an all-time low. AMA New York caught up with the new CEO of Reputation Institute Kylie Wright Ford to find out what companies can do to earn and keep trust in their reputations. Read the full transcript.
Chief Executive Officer