Discovering Your Reputation Path Over a Cup of Coffee

Most CEOs say their company’s reputation is important, but also admit they aren’t certain where to focus their efforts to improve reputation or to see more impact on the bottom line.

For companies that have great products or services, and are doing good work but just haven’t broken the reputation code, we suggest CEOs focus initiatives in five areas: brand, communication, culture, connections, and insulation.

Here are 6 questions with follow-ups to help begin your analysis. Try it for yourself over your morning cup of coffee to assess where your company’s reputational focus might begin.

  1. What is your company’s brand promise? Not only can you articulate the brand promise, but also is it utilized when making corporate decisions? Employees should know the brand promise as well as their role in delivering upon it – do they? Are you marketing products or service levels that you can’t consistently deliver? Where are your weak links of promise delivery?
  2. Are the greatest values of your company a secret? Do you merely tell a product/service story or a complete brand story? Upon how many stakeholder groups does your company focus? How familiar are those groups with the merits and expertise of your company?
  3. Does your culture align to your company’s brand? Is the company culture defined by a foosball table and Taco Tuesdays, or is there a deeper sense of purpose? Do people enjoy coming to work and are they engaged with what the company is trying to accomplish? Do the values and mission of the company align with the brand? Do employees know how they are making a difference? Is brand considered in the hiring process?
  4. Do you communicate from the inside out? Do your employees learn company news from Google Alerts, or is there a system of communication that keeps them informed? As a company leader, do you have conversations with employees? Does your organization have a culture of communication with crosswalks across divisions and departments?
  5. Have you taken the customer journey? Is your company creating experiences along the journey? Are you dropping important stakeholders along the way? What happens when things go wrong, does your company shine in adversity? Do you look at stakeholder surveys? Are you asking the right questions?
  6. What are the Top 5 reputational risks for the company? What are the smoldering crises? Is cybersecurity a threat? Overpromising what can be delivered? Rapid growth? Hiring the wrong people? Lack of innovation? Industry slowdown? Regulatory change? Online reputation?

These questions provide the starting blocks to revealing, and ultimately improving a company’s reputation. If you’re comfortable with the answers, you’re likely on the right track. If not, or if you have more questions than answers, give us a call and we’ll walk through the conversation together.

How can we help you?

Whether building up a reputation, protecting it, or merging cultures, great communication is key. We can help.