New tracker helps companies keep tabs on their corporate reputation

The Reputation Institute rolled out the Reputation Tracker this week in the US, and it plans to take it global later this year.

BOSTON: The Reputation Institute took the wraps off a service this week that helps companies continuously keep an eye on their corporate reputation.

The organization rolled out the Reputation Tracker this week in the US. The platform provides companies with continuous measurement and in-depth quarterly reports on their corporate reputations.

Brad Hecht, VP and chief research officer at the Reputation Institute, explained that a one-time measurement, which the institute previously provided, is valuable because it lets a company track itself over time, such as on a year-over-year basis.

However, if a company is facing a crisis such as a data breach, it would want to immediately know how its reputation is faring, he added.

Hecht explained that Home Depot, for instance, fared better after a large data breach than did Target because it handled the situation more proactively.

Statistically, there is a direct link between a company’s reputation, good or bad, and the willingness of a customer to buy its products versus those of a competitor, he noted. To stay on top of this, the tracker aims to help companies address key issues, such as brand alignment, return on reputation, CSR alignment, and reputation risk to regularly track company progress.

The service also lets clients benchmark against three competitors, as well as the 10 most reputable companies in the US, which includes Amazon, Hershey, and Lego. Tracking against additional companies is available for a fee.

"[The tool] allows companies to be strategic in terms of figuring out the way in which their branding and campaigns are working," said Hecht. "It also allows them to be tactical and gain a shortsighted understanding of whether small things that are happening to them or their competition have a direct impact on their reputation."

The tracker also measures a company’s reputation against a particular demographic or group of stakeholders, which can help a company understand why a campaign is resonating with targeted groups.

The Reputation Institute plans to expand the tracker globally later this year.

The price of the tracker is $50,000 annually, per country. For an additional annual fee of $15,000, companies can join the Reputation Leaders Network, which enables members to meet quarterly with their peer groups.

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