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Many companies attribute a staggering 63 percent of their market value to reputation, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA.
He said that in today’s fast news-driven environment, building and maintaining a strong corporate reputation is essential not only to protect business but also for sustained growth.
"Managing this intangible but important asset called corporate reputation generates market confidence, and can help fuel a company’s success," he added.
Hamilton-Clark suggested that corporate reputation is one of the most valuable forms of accumulated capital, and can be traded in for trust, legitimate positions of power, social recognition, goods and services and strong shareholders relationships.
"Reputation capital is the sum of the value of all corporate intangible assets, which include business processes, patents, trademarks, reputations for ethics and integrity, quality, safety, sustainability, security, and resilience," he added.
Hamilton-Clark cited research from TNS’s Corporate Reputation Program 2012, which investigates public perception across key sectors and brands in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Research suggests that more than 49 percent of top tier companies have lost their crowns with finance firms such as Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs named. However, the IT sector and automotive also wobbled, with IBM, HP, General Motors and Chrysler cited.
The research also revealed that 66 percent of business executives believe that reputation recovery is hard-won.
Hamilton-Clark warned that it takes years to repair a damaged reputation. "It is crucial for companies to actively manage the collective expectations of their audiences and stakeholders. Companies that fail to do so will suffer financially.
"Indeed, companies must understand and influence the relationships they have with stakeholders - from customers, investors, business partners, influencers, the general public and employees. The ability to attract, maintain and motivate talented employees, as well as customers rests in a good reputation," he noted.