Monday, 11 February 2013

Bad reputation

With the horse meat scandal galloping through many of Europe's best known brands, corporate reputation will be in the spotlight in the coming weeks for many companies.

Corporate reputation used to be referred to as "Corporate Image", but in today's connected world, the idea of image, with the implication that it has nothing to do with reality, belongs to the past. It will be interesting to see which of the brands caught up in the purveying of horse meat will emerge with their reputations intact. I expect it will be those who have already given serious thought to their reputation before the scandal broke.

Femke de Man, from the agency Globescan, gives her predictions for developments in the area of reputation for 2013. She expects that we will be seeing more Chief Reputation Officers, in the same way that we are seeing Chief Sustainability Officers in more forward-looking companies and, related to this, a view of reputation less in the context of risk management and more in the context of an ongoing, integral part of company process and function.

Building and managing reputation is no longer an optional luxury - and it's certainly a more demanding job that polishing up the corporate image from time to time.

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