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15th Apr 2011
In this op-ed for the Holmes Report, U.S. Corporate Practice Leader Michael Bayer explores the difference between brand and reputation, and the impact this crucial fact has on integrity and communications strategy.
One of the most common misconceptions I’ve encountered in corporate communications is the use of brand and reputation interchangeably. It’s so prevalent, in fact, that a majority of corporate PR practitioners either do not or cannot distinguish clearly between the two as it relates to the corporation they’re serving (case in point: use of the nonsensical term “brand reputation.”) Unfortunately, this misunderstanding undermines the role of corporate communications because it’s the relationship between brand and reputation that ultimately defines the integrity of the corporate story.
Corporate brand vs. corporate reputation
The framework is simple. Corporate brand represents the company’s ultimate promise to all of its customers, while corporate reputation reflects the management team’s ability to deliver on that promise. It’s that simple. The brand is an expression of the entire company, while the reputation stems from the behavior of senior management – and the repercussions of that behavior. Fundamentally, management’s job is to deliver on the brand promise through the actions they take, the decisions they make, the capital they allocate, and the policies they enact, among other things.
To read the rest of Michael Bayer's article for the Holmes Report, click here.