Thursday 18 October 2018

Ad lib: What's in a name? Why brand reputation delivers lasting value

 

Niamh Boyle
Niamh Boyle

Media & Marketing with Michael Cullen

Companies compete for market share, but why is one an outright leader? Is it down to being better-priced or because they advertise more? Or is it because they have a reputation for excellence and integrity their competitors can only crave? Niamh Boyle heads up The Reputations Agency (TRA), which is first and foremost a PR firm.

She also runs Ireland's RepTrak study, which sees 7,500 members of the public rank 100 companies and bodies across 17 sectors. Boyle says outstanding leaders measure the intangibles that drive corporate success: trust and respect; integrity and ethics; and respect for society and the environment. Simply put, they know the value of reputation.

CEOs mainly focus on profit and loss (P&L), earnings growth and return on assets. But, Ms Boyle contends, what really counts when mistakes happen, when markets tumble and buying power slows, is whether a corporate brand has notched up enough trust, support and respect over time.

Access to the right reputation data and insight means top management - the C-suite - is armed with tools that not only raise brand awareness, but achieve competitive differentiation, recruit and retain top talent, and support post-crisis recovery. The data not only predicts the actions stakeholders will take but informs what strategies will push the needle.

Reputation audits shows top management where they need to focus more and the positive multiplier effect from improving reputation. Companies with an excellent reputation achieve a 2.5 times better stock market performance. In a crisis, 63pc of the public give the benefit of the doubt to these companies and with each five-point improvement in reputation there is a 6.5pc increase in intention to purchase.

Bord Bia, Lidl, Credit Unions, Toyota, Kellogg, Aldi, Kerry Group and Boots regularly take top 10 places across all key reputation metrics. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) drives half of a company's reputation. TRA's CSR practice, the first in Ireland, designs and communicates client CSR strategies and is headed up by Catherine Walsh. CSR helps to explains how Lego was number two in the global RepTrak 2018 study, as the Danish toy giant tries to produce its building bricks from sustainable materials. Lidl Ireland, the first major employer to commit to the living wage, takes a top 10 place in six of the seven RepTrak categories.

Ornua is rolling out a new global print and online campaign which focuses on careers at the former Irish Dairy Board. Devised by Murray Creative, the Murray PR offshoot headed up by Aideen Magee, and MediaCom, the campaign's aim is to attract talent in Ornua's key markets and boost trade across 112 countries.

Called 'Irish Roots: Global Opportunities', the video shows staff talking about what it's like to work at Ornua, a behind-the-scenes look at product development and innovation at Kerrygold Park and a run-down on the company's global impact. Ornua plans to grow yearly dairy sales from €2bn to €3bn by 2021.

What's billed as 'a power hour from Ireland's best research agencies' is the stage for a breakfast seminar hosted by the Association of Market Research Organisations (Aimro) in the Sugar Club in Dublin on September 26. Speakers from the likes of B&A, Core, Ipsos, Mercator, Red C and W5 will address the 'Research 60 Minutes' theme. Tourism Ireland's Peter Nash will sum up the talks.

Applications close today for the role of marketing communications manager at Bord Gáis Energy (BGE), provider of gas and electricity to around 650,000 homes and business across the country. The job vacancy is back-filling a role after BGE's other marketers moved up the corporate ladder. Neil Curry and Dermot Mulligan became marketing manager and marketing controller respectively.

And finally... Ancestry.ie has signed up as sponsor of RTÉ's genealogy series 'Who Do You Think You Are?' for an undisclosed sum. Singer Damien Dempsey and comedian Pat Shortt have shared their stories to date. Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, TV host Laura Whitmore, actor Adrian Dunbar and Irish-American politician Samantha Power are on the way.

Michael Cullen is editor of Marketing.ie; cullen@marketing.ie

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