Thursday, June 26, 2008

What really drives reputation? Customers!

In this article for Imediaconnection, Marian Salzman talk about products making their way to replace brands as reputation drivers.
I generally agree with her point of view about the fact that:

  1. without product there is no brand
  2. in the world of the web 2.0, this is far more crucial than in the past
  3. if a brand is truly honest and transparent, this is perceived added value
But there is a missing point.
Reputation does no longer comes from your product or your brand: it's your customer that makes your reputation.
A terrific brand with an outstanding product can crash is perceived as not reliable by customers.
And reliability is not only a matter of how well is crafted the product, but it's made by several factor:

  1. is this company honest to me and to my environment?
  2. how this product impact on my environment?
  3. are there any hidden issue in how the product is made (underpaid workforce? healthy concerns?)
  4. am I paying a right price to purchase it?

It's customers that can push a product and a brand to the sky or drive them to hell.

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