The Power of Perception
For a brand’s value, reputation is everything. Management of reputation is the process of influencing perception. While brands can perfect their reputations through well-crafted marketing strategies, the challenge is exponentially more difficult once consumers form a widespread perception.
Nearly one-third of all consumers say a company’s reputation will drive their purchasing decisions, according to consumer tracker Qualtrics. These consumers said they switched their brand loyalties because they felt their experience didn’t meet the promises the brand’s image set. A Weber Shandwick survey with KRC Research of 1,500 consumers found they are deeply concerned about political and social divisions and believe businesses should find common ground to help bridge them. Shoppers say they want companies to take public positions on critical social issues such as human rights (82%), climate change (73%), racism (72%) and gun violence (70%). They also say companies should continue acting on commitments to employees and communities.
When companies do not sufficiently demonstrate their values, consumers respond sharply: more than half said they had taken an action to oppose or support a company based on their positions or actions.
As the survey illustrates, a positive reputation helps brands attract talent, set premium prices for higher assessed value, enhance loyalty, raise market values and lower capital costs. A substantial portion of a brand’s market value is tied to intangible assets such as brand equity and intellectual capital. Indeed, as the survey also shows, reputational damage can be costly. Forty-four percent of consumers say they have boycotted a company to express protest and 36 percent have “buycotted,” demonstrating support by intentionally buying its products or services.