Corporate Reputations Matter

The Walt Disney Company is one of the top-ranked firms for a good reputation. BP was elsewhere on the list.For good reason, there is a lot of buzz around corporate reputation management. Developing and maintaining a solid reputation yields financial dividends.

In the Reputation Institute's 2010 survey, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft Foods, Kellogg, The Walt Disney Company, PepsiCo and Sara Lee received the highest reputation ratings among 150 U.S. companies. In a top ranked vs. bottom ranked comparison, the Institute found consumers were:

  • Two times more likely to consider products from top-rated companies;
  • Three and a half times more likely to purchase products from top-rated companies; and,
  • Three times more likely to believe top-ranked companies when problems arise.

CFM also has found good reputations can impact the top line. In a CFM/Oregon Business Input survey (November 2009) we found 24 percent were more likely to PAY MORE for products from companies that have an overall good reputation.

Both Ben Franklin – "It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation" – and Warren Buffett – "It takes 20 years to build a reputation" – agree it takes effort and time to build a reputation. And, that reputation is built on multiple factors. CFM has found those include:

  • Quality of products and services;
  • Customer service;
  • Ethics;
  • Financial stability; and
  • Quality management.

These should be core principles that drive every company decision, because a good reputation can evaporate quickly. Keep in mind Buffett's entire quote about reputation:

"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you'll do things differently." 

In this case, doing the right thing is a good financial decision, too.

CFM survey results are based on 895 online interviews with business decision makers in Oregon and Southwest Washington.