Ipsos Corporate Reputation

Building digital advocacy

CONSUMERS ARE LOOKING FOR INFORMATION ABOUT YOU ONLINE

Nearly half of consumers say they were willing to visit a company’s website, or look for information about a company online, consistent across all regions.

However, far fewer people are willing to apply for jobs, share positive information about a company on social media, or follow a corporate social media account. People in LATAM and the Middle East/Africa are much more willing to engage in these behaviors than people in Asia Pacific, Europe, or North America.

Does consumer engagement vary by industry?

Industries with higher overall engagement, like technology and pharmaceuticals, tend to have higher engagement across the board – even on the more difficult or active forms of engagement.

Information seekers are trust-agnostic; activities leveraging personal credibility require trust

People who distrust a company are just as likely as those who trust a company to visit a company’s website or look for more information about that company online. These are trust-neutral activities.

Trust plays a much greater role in people’s decision to share positive information about a company, follow that company on social media, or apply for a job

What information sources do stakeholders find credible?

TV news and newspapers are an important and credible source of information about companies. Social networking is nearly as important, but is much less credible.

Companies should not discount the power of personal conversations, which are perceived as much more credible than social media though the source of information would seem to be similar. This may reflect a growing divide in online relationships versus personal relationships.

Want people to get the right information about you? Company websites are the most frequently used and most credible form of company-controlled communication, so keep your website engaging and up-to-date so you can compete with news and information generated by social media.

Social media use explodes, but credibility lags

Although usage of social networking has increased tremendously, credibility hardly increased at all.

Compared to a similar study conducted in 2009, the use of social networking sites like Facebook to gain information about companies has increased (by 23 percentage points), with only a modest corresponding gain in credibility (up just 8 percentage points). In fact, the only forms of communication that have increased in usage are digital: social networking, YouTube or other video sharing sites, and blogs.

At the same time, usage and credibility of all mainstream media (TV, magazine, radio, and newspapers) has decreased.

Knowing this, companies would be wise to ensure that their digital communications reflect the changes in usability and preferences.

Methodology: The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Reputation Monitor, conducted in September 2017, measured attitudes of more than 23,000 consumers from 31 countries toward 66 companies across nine industries.

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Unlocking the Value of Reputation: Full Report

THE DEFINITIVE LINK BETWEEN CORPORATE REPUTATION AND BETTER BUSINESS EFFICIENCY

Looking to make your company run more effectively and efficiently?

Management teams around the world face a variety of complex business situations daily. A great place to start boosting your business is by leveraging the power of your reputation.

Ipsos Global Reputation Centre research across 31 countries shows conclusive proof of the relationship between a good reputation and better business efficiency.

Our research explores:

BUILDING TRUST GIVES COMPANIES AN ADVANTAGE IN TELLING THEIR STORY IN TIMES OF CRISIS, MARKETING THEIR PRODUCTS EFFICIENTLY, AND TURNING STAKEHOLDERS INTO ADVOCATES.

Reputation and trust are powerful forces in business efficiency.

The social media landscape may be changing how people interact with companies. There may be regulatory issues impacting some sectors more than others. You may be doing business in a region that’s inherently more skeptical than the rest of the world.

But the bottom line remains the same: building trust builds reputation. And having a good reputation will result in better business efficiency.

Methodology: The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Reputation Monitor, conducted in September 2017, measured attitudes of more than 23,000 consumers from 31 countries toward 66 companies across nine industries.

Read more from 'Unlocking the Value of Reputation'...

Read more from the Ipsos Global Reputation Centre...

The link between trust, reputation and benefit of the doubt

BUILDING TRUST BUILDS REPUTATION. A GOOD REPUTATION BUILDS BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT, AND ENSURES YOUR VOICE IS HEARD IN A CRISIS.

Trust matters. When you trust someone, you give them the benefit of the doubt. If that person gets in trouble, you will hear their side of the story before jumping to conclusions.

Companies seek to build the same benefit of the doubt among their stakeholders. Without a strong reputation, companies risk not having a receptive audience for their story when they need one the most.

Globally, people are generally willing to give companies the benefit of the doubt (24% definitely and 48% probably). This willingness to give the benefit of the doubt is tightly linked to overall trust.

Among people who trust a company a great deal, more than half (59%) say they would definitely give that company the benefit of the doubt in a crisis. Among people who are feel neutral toward a company, that percentage shrinks to just 10%.

How benefit of the doubt varies by industry

The imperative to build a strong reputation to get the benefit of the doubt is greatest in high risk sectors. However, EVERY company has risk and can obtain a competitive advantage by building a reputation that they can draw on in times of trouble.

At the industry level, technology companies are much more likely to get the benefit of the doubt than others. Highly regulated industries are viewed more skeptically.

Globally, technology and automotive companies have the strongest reputations and consequently the strongest benefit of the doubt.

Benefit of the doubt and trust are highly correlated. When companies build trust, they are building up benefit of the doubt.

The link between trust and benefit of the doubt are most tightly related at the ends of the spectrum - companies with the best reputation get the most benefit of the doubt, and least trusted companies generate very little benefit of the doubt. Companies in the middle (trust-wise), have more variance when it comes to getting the benefit of the doubt.

Airlines, telecommunications, and oil and gas companies have the greatest challenges.

How benefit of the doubt varies by region

Overall, Europeans are more skeptical of companies, while Latin Americans are more likely to give companies the benefit of the doubt.

Generally, a majority of people in every region say they would “probably” give companies the benefit of the doubt during times of crisis. This likelihood to extend the benefit of the doubt is why it is so important for companies to make sure they react appropriately to crises. An over-reaction due to a few hard-core skeptics can cause more harm than good. Companies need to remember that they generally have the benefit of the doubt and should therefore be forthcoming, rather than defensive.

Skeptical Europeans are a tougher audience than people from other parts of the world.

The impact of regulation on trust and benefit of the doubt

Oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, and telecommunications companies face the greatest amount of regulatory risk, and have the lowest trust and benefit of the doubt scores. While risk is also high for insurance and banking, there is also some evidence of people feeling these industries are over-regulated.

The desire for regulation is highest in Europe and North America, and lowest in APAC.

Methodology: The latest wave of the Ipsos Global Reputation Monitor, conducted in September 2017, measured attitudes of more than 23,000 consumers from 31 countries toward 66 companies across nine industries.

Read more from 'Unlocking the Value of Reputation'...

Read more from the Ipsos Global Reputation Centre...