Charting the Industry: Bad Rep Makes Consumers Think Twice

An organization’s reputation is firmly linked to product brand success, says Weber Shandwick’s January 2012 study, “The Company Behind the Brand: In Reputation We Trust.” The survey of 1,375 consumers, and 474 senior executives in companies with revenue of $500 million or more finds that consumers are wary of buying products from disreputable corporate brands: 40% of consumers do not purchase the product when there is a disconnect between the product brand and the corporate brand (see details in the chart). While this finding should be no surprise to communicators, it is important data to take upstairs to the C-suite to emphasize the importance of reputation protection and enhancement, says Matt Kucharski, executive VP at PR agency Padilla Speer Beardsley. This disconnect has been prevalent in the B2B space, where customers don’t want to buy “bet your company” products and services from a supplier with a shady background, says Kucharski. “Now it’s certainly true in the B2C world as well, driven both by transparency inherent in today’s social media driven society and by the social activism of the Generation Y buyer.

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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