Every year, research is published on the state of brands in Canada, analyzing which have gained in status and which have dropped from the “best-of” lists. Here’s a summary of a recent Ipsos report’s key findings and observations about the state of brand reputation in Canada, based off research from September 2017.

How does reputation influence purchase decisions?

The Ipsos report, Unlocking the Value of Reputation: The Definitive Link Between Corporate Reputation and Better Business Efficiency, dives into the importance of reputation management in influencing consumer decision-making. Brands are important for enabling businesses to actively manage their reputations to grow both consumer trust and benefit of the doubt – and to drive consumer action. Why? According to Ipsos, 87% of people globally use a company’s reputation in some way to help them make purchase decisions.

The link between trust, reputation and benefit of the doubt

Trust is an extremely important factor in building a strong, positive reputation. When customers trust a company, they are more likely to hear it out in challenging situations.

·       In general, 24% of Canadians are “definitely willing” and 48% are “probably willing” to believe companies in crisis situations – even when they are not sure if the company is telling the truth.

·     But the proportion who are definitely willing to give the benefit of the doubt jumps to 59% when they already trust the organization and the brand.

How reputation and trust affect marketing efficiency 

The concept of trust also applies to a company’s advertising messages. Consumers are more likely to believe – and act on – a company’s marketing messages if there is a foundation of trust.

The Ipsos report indicates that 

·       73% of consumers who are neutral toward a company are likely to trust that company’s advertising messages

·       39% of consumers who distrust a company “a little” are likely to trust that company’s advertising messages

·       Only 18% of consumers who distrust a company “a great deal” are likely to trust that company’s advertising messages

Beyond receptivity to marketing messages, companies can also charge a premium for their products and services when they have a trusted reputation with their audiences. In fact, reputation accounts for 78% of the difference in consumers’ willingness to pay a premium.

This is where high levels of trust make an impact – people who are neutral toward a company may be willing to believe its advertising, but this doesn’t mean they are willing to pay a premium for the company’s products or services. When customers trust a company, not only are they more likely to believe advertising messages and pay a premium, but they are also more likely to feel good about using the product or service.

What does all this mean for organizations?

Fostering a trusted brand reputation is the most efficient and cost-effective tool an organization can use to influence its audiences. This is true regardless of the size of the organization.

Read our next blog installment, “The Impact of Reputation on Your Organization – Part 2” for an essential how-to guide for business leaders on establishing, fostering and growing brand reputation.

About Christine Saunders

Halmyre President Christine Saunders is a marketing consultant to service-based organizations, a strategic advisor to marketing executives and leaders, an entrepreneur and a hobby farmer. In 2014 she founded The Marketing Strategy Group, which has recently rebranded as Halmyre. Prior to this, Christine owned a traditional integrated marketing and communications agency specializing in financial services, public services and not-for-profits. Her education is in politics, ethics and philosophy, and she is a proud Maritimer despite living in Upper Canada today.


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