When people like and trust a company – they engage with it and contribute to its success
Just as character matters in people, it matters in organizations
We at Caliber structure our thinking around brand and reputation management through the Corporate Character Model illustrated below. We see a strong Corporate Character as being reflected and validated through positive perceptions, attitudes and emotions towards the company by its stakeholders.
1. Information and experience
Stakeholder perceptions of a company are shaped through three main interaction areas: direct experiences (e.g. buying and using the products, dealing with customer service, working for the company or visiting its offices or stores), the company’s own communication (PR, marketing, reporting etc.) and third-party information (such as media, expert opinions and word of mouth).
Reputation (rational perceptions) serves as the foundation for general acceptance of the company by its stakeholders, and provides it with a licence to operate. In other words, a strong reputation builds consideration. This type of rational perceptions is often referred to as “table stakes” – every company is expected to fulfill them to a certain minimum degree.
Brand (attitudinal perceptions) helps distinguish the company from its competition and gives stakeholders the desire to engage with it. In other words, a strong brand builds preference.
4. Trust & Like Score
Together brand and reputation influence the extent to which people trust and like the company (emotional bond) – the sign of having a strong and lasting character.
It is trust and like that drive actions and stakeholder behavior (e.g. buying products and services, recommending the company to others, investing in it, working for it and advocating on its behalf).
6. Business Results
Positive stakeholder behavior enables the organization to achieve its business results (meet commercial goals, enter new markets, successfully release new products etc.).
PROOF OF CONCEPT
There is a direct proven causal relationship between the strength of an organization’s brand and reputation and the level of Trust & Like stakeholders have towards it. In turn, Trust & Like are closely linked to (and are the best proxy for) actual behavior from stakeholders towards that organization.
The percentages above are based on Adjusted R-square figures indicating the strength of the modelled relationship from 0% (no explanatory power) to 100% (full explanatory power). Strong models within the research field are said to be within the range of 60%-80%.