The Importance of Reputation
For the past 50 years the central paradigm of marketing has been branding. Typically branding focused on logos, straplines, product packaging and positioning. Brand was distributed through advertising and public relations. Customers were segmented and profiled and their feedback gathered through surveys and occasional focus groups.
Brand owners could rely on solitary quality of their customers. If they complained, it was directed towards customer support.
Since 2000 the importance of branding has diminished as companies have begun to adapt to a new paradigm which we call reputation.
What is Reputation?
rep·u·ta·tion1. The general estimation in which a person is held by the public.2. The state or situation of being held in high esteem.3. A specific characteristic or trait ascribed to a person or thing:a reputation for courtesy. [Latin reputatio]
Reputation is what others say and think about you. This is compared to branding which is what you say and think about yourselves. Branding can influence reputation, but today reputation has a greater impact upon branding: greater and also faster.
Reputation is a changing algorithm of "validity" + "reliability" + "positioning" x gossip
Reputation has a changing velocity. It can be stable for a long time and then suddenly and very quickly change. That change is usually the changing volume of gossip.
Definition:Validity is the strength of our conclusions, inferences or propositions.
Reliability represents the consistency of delivering.
Definition: Reliability is the consistency of your measurement, or the degree to which an instrument measures the same way each time it is used under the same condition with the same subjects. In short, it is the repeatability of your measurement. A measure is considered reliable if a person's score on the same test given twice is similar. It is important to remember that reliability is not measured, it is estimated.
Different companies, products or people are expected to deliver certain results. Hip nightclubs deliver fashionable people, a certain ambience. Differing customer networks have very different perceptions of what constitutes hip, fashionable, etc. Nightclubs lose their fashionable tag through some small shift in perception that transmits fast through different networks. It may stay fashionable to one network long after another network has rejected it as excruciatingly passé.
Stakeholders have to be able to rely on you delivering what they expect you to.