The 2016 AMR Reputation Index shows that JB Hi-Fi ranked highest among 60 companies measured, for overall corporate corporations, climbing two places since 2015, (Ice 2016). Reputation captures the importance of a brand or company with respect to customer value (Marketing Metric Solutions 2016). Being a responsibly-run company that is open and transparent, and treats its employees well is vitally important to Australians when it comes to overall reputation (Ice 2016).
Comparison of the 2015 Vs 2016 AMR Reputation Index results show that Woolworths had the biggest fall, from 17th in 2015 to 40th in 2016. Other noticeable drops in rank were 7-Eleven and Australia Post. For brands such as these, scandals have rocked their year causing a drop in consumer trust, which is to be expected. For example, Woolworths’ financial difficulties with its Masters brand (Carmody 2016), as well as ongoing debate about which supermarkets are winning the battle for shoppers’ dollars, has affected the company’s reputation (Keating 2016).
About the AMR Reputation Index
The 60 companies included in the Reputation Index are sourced from the IBIS World Top 1000 Company list (AMR 2015). The Reputation Index, collates insight direct from consumers, without using company supplied data, which Boundless, 2016 notes, is important to gain an accurate picture. Additionally, the Reputation Index measures how Australians feel according to seven parameters; Products and Services, Innovation, Workplace, Citizenship, Governance, Leadership and Performance. In Australia, adults aged 18-64 are surveyed with results weighted to represent appropriate gender and age groups (AMR 2015). Manser, 2014 reported that Deakin University’s Dr Harrison proposes that this method of submitting a curated list of companies to respondents for comment could skew the results because, with opinion research, most people don’t have an opinion about most things until they are asked.
Does a good reputation equate to good sales?
A range of reputation dimensions must be included in a measurement program, but how each is used in research should vary significantly by industry and by stakeholder, and should reflect a company’s own unique history (Salomon 2014).
Huyse, 2014 explain some other ways to measure reputation through purchase intent by using surveys or using a targeted method such as Net Promoter Scoring to determine their reputation among key groups and keep tabs on the loyalty of customers.
In evaluating reputation research, a company should go beyond looking at raw data and have a way to measure the overall success of their brand. Does a rise in purchase intent, paired with a strong outreach campaign, actually correspond to a rise in sales or positive sentiment? Does a high Net Promoter Score, correlate with strong sales? Does a drop in public opinion actually impact the company in terms of expensive regulation, or loss of interest in the product with weak sales? (Huyse 2014).
An understanding of statistics and analysis of correlations is required to determine which of the reputation measures most closely mirrors a particular industry or business. When done effectively actionable strategies can be identified to corporations allowing them to manage their assets and risk proactively. Salomon, 2014 states that research-based decisions inform what can otherwise be an amorphous or “program-driven” discipline.
Where does this leave Woolworths and JB HiFi?
Increasingly brands are viewed as a complex compound of functional, symbolic and emotional values and benefits (Zombardino and Goodfellow, 2007). Woolworths seeing a decline in their rating is no doubt a kick in the guts, though is this far from the first warning sign for them that something needs to significantly change. For JB HiFi on the other end of the scale, success with the AMR Reputation Index will not necessarily lead to particularly high sales in 2016, but it sure is some positive PR they have gained for themselves.
Boundless, 2016, Methods for Evaluating Marketing Performance, Boundless Marketing, retrieved 20 May 2016, https://www.boundless.com/
Carmody, B 2016, Masters to be wound up or sold as Woolworths reveals the home improvement chain is still not profitable, Smart Company, retrieved on 17 May 2016, http://www.smartcompany.com.au
Huyse, K 2014, 5 Tools to Measure (and Manage) Reputation in Complex Envirinment, PR News Online, retrieved 16 May 2016, http://www.prnewsonline.com
Ice, B 2016, Corporate Reputation Index: JB Hi-Fi back on top in 2016, Marketing Magazine, retrieved on 16 May 2016, https://www.marketingmag.com.au
Keating, E 2016, Woolworths 7-Eleven tumble in reputation ranks while JB HiFi tops the list, Smart Company, retrieved 16 May 2016, http://www.smartcompany.com.au
Manser, E 2016, Woolies, AusPost drop in consumer trust index, The News Daily, retrieved 16 May 2016, http://thenewdaily.com.au
Marketing Metric Solutions, 2016, retrieved on 17 May 2016 http://www.marketingmetricssolutions.com
Salomon, W 2014, Uncommon Sense: How do you measure reputation, Neilson, retrieved 16 May 2016, http://www.nielsen.com/au
Zambardino, A, & Goodfellow, J 2007, ‘Being ‘Affective’ in Branding?’, Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 23, no. 1/2, p. 27
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