APCO releases reputation study findings

WASHINGTON DC: APCO Worldwide has released the results from the first stage of its "Return on Reputation Indicator", a "mid six-figure" study designed to help companies understand the impact of reputation on business objectives.

WASHINGTON D.C.: APCO Worldwide has released the results from the first stage of its “Return on Reputation Indicator”, a “mid six-figure” study designed to help companies understand the impact of reputation on business objectives.

The initial study focused on the retail sector and surveyed 10,000 respondents connected with the industry, a group that included consumers, policymakers and financial leaders. The quantitative survey was based on earlier qualitative research conducted by APCO.

The firm plans to tailor the study to a series of industries, including finance and healthcare, and the next survey is slated to begin towards the end of 2010.

Bryan Dumont, president of APCO Insight who led the development of the Indicator, explained that the study was designed to create a “body of knowledge for clients”. He said: “One of the important features of this study is that we take 360 view of reputation - we look at all of the audience who have an impact on a chosen sector so we can help companies understand the impact reputation has on key outputs.”

APCO linked up with the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) for the study and Dumont confirmed all future studies will be conducted in collaboration with an industry or trade association partner.

Although APCO intends to sell the detailed findings to companies featured in the study, Dumont said the “Return on Reputation Indicator” was an “investment rather than a revenue generator”. He said: “We have been doing reputation work for several years and wanted to drive a conversation around the notion that reputation has a concrete measure on business.”

Top line findings from the retail study suggest that a one-point increase in the retail industry's reputation results in annual spending by the average consumer increasing $133 per year, an additional 94,600 community activists actively and vocally advocating on behalf of the industry, and the proportion of policymakers who support the retail industry on most proposals increasing by nearly one percentage point.

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