It is seen that the most important asset of any business is its reputation and its ability to attract and retain customers, vendors, employees, stakeholders, etc. A company’s reputation is the most crucial factor that builds trust between people and helps each other in time of need. Building of reputation can be ensured by being ethical and honest in dealings and not making false or misleading promises. If a customer wishes a product within a particular day, it is necessary to have it delivered on the appointed day. The ability to do so would build goodwill and reputation, whereas inability to do so would mean loss of reputation. Therefore, it is necessary that a company should ensure that it gives only broad-based commitments and say that the work is taken up urgently and would be completed within a reasonable time. Therefore, the main aspects would be in understanding the customer has needs but adopting a broad framework for satisfying his need.
In this case, it is necessary to remember, “It is your job to communicate that you are the best to get the task done without getting into specifics that will eventually turn out suicidal for your business — having to deliver on your word despite the fact that everything has changed but the client’s mind and expectations.”
There are several aspects, which build up a reputation, and they could be summarised as:
- Ever changing use of existing assets.
- Development of core competencies.
- Image building.
- Strategic alliances.
It is necessary that there need to be newer and better uses of existing assets, which help to build up a reputation. In addition, it is needed to further develop and reinforce the use of assets for building a reputation. It needs to be emphasised that all the factors need to be used in tandem and cannot be used in isolation or independent of one another.
The spreading of reputation needs to be done through word of mouth or through advertising strategies, which are used for furthering the cause of business and for creating the right conditions for spreading reputation. In the business context, the spreading of reputation is through efficient and effective marketing, ethical practices and keeping the interests of the public over vested interests. It also alludes to non-collusion with rivals and competitors, and as far as is practicably possible, to promote one’s company without inflicting damage onto others. Profit maximisation pursued by a company need not be at the expense of employees, vendors, customers and most significantly, the stakeholders. Thus, the spread of reputation would involve getting the public to know about one’s products and services through internet superhighway or through other effective methods advocated by the top management of the company, and also keeping in mind the net results that such actions would bring about to the company as a whole.
Next, it is proposed to take up the aspect of sustaining or maintaining reputation. It is seen that this is by far the most significant aspect of the business since a patiently built reputation over a period could be obliterated within just a few moments of indiscretion. As is seen, reputation is difficult to build but easy to destroy and therefore, it is necessary that appropriate protection measures are taken for safeguarding reputation over a long-term basis.