What is the most important attribute of every business? It is reputation.
Reputation is cut from the same character cloth as trust, integrity, reliability and responsibility.
And reputations are never fixed – they can be won, lost and sometimes shredded in seconds.
Not that having ‘a reputation’ is necessarily a good thing either. The phrase “He’s got something of a reputation” is hardly likely to be a stunning recommendation of solid character.
Being reputable is valuable, of course – and that can mean many things from steadfast reliability to having strength of character, integrity and trustworthiness. Either way, reputations are earned and gained over time and not simply given.
So how can you ramp it up – how can you build your reputation Richter scale?
The Richter scale measures earthquake tremors but has no upper limit – and neither does your reputation.
That means you can’t pitch it high enough. But you can downgrade and diminish it easily.
See our associated blog: 5 ways to shape your reputation Richter scale.
Reputation goes hand in hand with another key attribute – image.
Together, image and reputation are significant factors to the success of any business.
Having the right image is more than a logo or identifiable brand. It signifies who you are and what you are as a defined ‘look’.
When Apple chose a dreadlocked silhouette to launch the iPod they knew the vibe this gave off – reggae, world music, the sun-drenched Caribbean, sun, fun, cool, freedom, waves crashing on to sand.
It gave a ‘feel’ to their new product – an association for how we feel about a brand and our ‘buy in’ to it.
Which brings to mind another brand that is now part of our lexicon – Marmite.
You either love or hate it, apparently. Actually, most of us are ambivalent but that too is marketing spin. We remember it.
Point is, we don’t share the same tastes, like the same things or see life the same way.
What we do recognise is character – whether it is physical appearance or brand recognition or, more significantly values and ethics of the people behind it – how they ‘do’ business and whether we feel (that word again) if they are a good fit for us.
At May’s Business Media Club meeting we will show how combining image and reputation can make a massive impact on you and your business.
The meeting will be held on Friday, May 31 (9.45am-12.30pm) at the CGM Media Centre in Worcester.