• Home
  • Blog & News
  • Building or breaking your brand and company value through reputation

Building or breaking your brand and company value through reputation

By Pavlo Phitidis

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been shocked by the news, as McKinsey, SAP, KPMG, Bell Pottinger and so many others, have hit the headlines with significant reputation-related crises. It only seems fitting then, that we chatted this week on The Money Show with Bruce Whitfield about building, or breaking, your brand, through reputation. As Warren Buffet’s 2014 memo to Berkshire management said: 

“We can afford to lose money, even a lot of it. But we can’t afford to lose reputation, even a shred of it.

Here are a few actions you can take to both build and avoid hurting your brand.

Why is a brand even relevant?

Your brand is the symbol of your business, and created by the impression people hold of your business. Correctly built and well-maintained, your brand helps your business grow and makes it easy to attract customers, close deals and, of course, become an asset of value that an investor finds attractive, or that a keen buyer wishes to acquire. Ultimately, your reputation is the most valuable, intangible, and vulnerable, asset to your business. Guarding and curating it is essential. Here’s what you should consider when it comes to your brand: 

Changes in reputation drivers over time

Your business changes as it grows, and so too does your brand and reputation. As a startup, your reputation is created by the way you behave, as a business owner, from day one. At that stage, your business’ brand is closely tied to your personal reputation, and how you conduct yourself in every situation. But when your business grows up a little and you begin to build, the curation of your reputation will depend highly upon the efficiency and effectiveness of your company operations and systems. Consistently positive customer experiences will augment your company’s reputation, while inconsistencies will directly damage your brand. 

Build fast and hold on to your reputation

As Warren Buffett reminds us: “it takes twenty years to build a reputation, and five minutes to ruin it.” Taking incremental steps in building your business and brand will later lead you to the point where your business matures. At that point, your ability to communicate effectively with multiple stakeholders becomes an important part of sustaining a positive reputation. 

Set your goals and manage your environment with care

As a business leader, it’s up to you to create an environment for your growing company that safeguards against reputational damage. Don’t make the mistake of Wells Fargo’s CEO, who created a sales incentive programme for staff that left the company highly vulnerable to reputational damage. Avoiding practices and systems that could lead your business towards tarnishing its reputation is vital, as Warren Buffett said: “if you lose money for the firm, I will be understanding. If you lose reputation, I will be ruthless.” Once a reputation has been damaged, it’s extremely difficult to repair it. 

Do what you do, and don’t do what you don’t do

True risk for your growing business, doesn’t come from doing what you’re good at. Instead, risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing. Rather than giving into the temptation of looking for greener pastures, or a new industry to enter, look towards improving your business, skills and products as they are right now. That not only gives you an exceptional edge against your competitors – it also strengthens your reputation.

Learn to hear, see, and interpret, truth from lies

Being able to filter information and work only with the facts can be difficult, especially in highly pressured times. Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels said: “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth” but truth is only ever found in action. If you’re trying to figure out the facts, or fiction, relating to a business situation, look for inconsistencies in action, or unpredictable behaviour. Listen to the way people relate a story to you, because tone can be a giveaway too. Don’t be fooled by big talk, because action counts far more, for your business, your brand, and your future. 

Curating and maintaining a robust reputation to build the brand of your growing business is imperative.  At Aurik, we will work with you to build a business that delivers a consistent customer experience, one that will build your brand and your company valuation. Let’s work with you to build your business into that asset of value.

 

How to write the right kind of business plan
Business Opportunities The Money Show Business Systems Business Growth Business Plan

How to write the right kind of business plan

I’ve recently read through oodles of business plans, with a sample of ten showing me that: 4 were applying for growth funding;...

Read more

A Succession Planning Strategy for Your Business
The Money Show Succession Business Exit Business Succession

A Succession Planning Strategy for Your Business

The resignation of Robert Mugabe and the current race for power within the ANC have highlighted the importance of succession...

Read more

Critical strategies to future-proof your business
Growing business value Business Development Growing Focus Business Growth

Critical strategies to future-proof your business

Even for established businesses, it’s not easy to make sure that you will be ready for whatever might happen in the future....

Read more

How to start a business (or your career) from nothing
The Money Show Creating Time Growing Goals

How to start a business (or your career) from nothing

My recent meetings with people across the country have revealed that we have so much human potential, and yet such low morale....

Read more

Learning Resilience, to Build your Business during Tough Times
The Money Show Growing business value Building your Business Growing Accelerating Growth

Learning Resilience, to Build your Business during Tough Times

Simply reading the news headlines can be downright distressing, and government’s lack of adequate response towards corruption...

Read more

How to build your Business into an Asset of Value that is ripe for selling
Growing business value Asset of Value Sales Accelerating Growth

How to build your Business into an Asset of Value that is ripe for selling

Every business owner should be concerned about whether they will be able to sell their business for a good return when they’re...

Read more

What to do when you’ve made the wrong investment for business growth
In the News The Money Show Growing Strategy Accelerating Growth

What to do when you’ve made the wrong investment for business growth

Earlier this week, the South African Minister of Finance presented the Medium-term Budget, and the news was somewhat disheartening....

Read more

Get with the Aurik programme to ensure company growth
Growing business value Business Development Building your Business Company growth

Get with the Aurik programme to ensure company growth

Business owners are bracing themselves for tough economic times with SA’s downgrade to junk status and a gradual economic...

Read more

From a small family-owned business to an internationally recognised operation
Case Studies Business Development Family Business

From a small family-owned business to an internationally recognised operation

How did Liquid Movers quadruple their baseline turnover? The family-owned business joined the Aurik programme to grow its...

Read more

Delegate, you must: if you want to sell your business one day
Asset of Value Sales Business Exit

Delegate, you must: if you want to sell your business one day

Despite what you may think or feel, doing it on your own won’t set you on a pathway to success. You can’t build a business...

Read more

Building successful and sustainable innovative technology businesses
In the News Growing business value Asset of Value Positioning your Business

Building successful and sustainable innovative technology businesses

Aurik CEO and co-founder Pavlo Phitidis was the keynote speaker at the Innovation Bridge event in Midrand recently. With...

Read more

Think big with an Asset of Value framework
AoV Mindset Growing business value Asset of Value

Think big with an Asset of Value framework

Thinking and building big right from the start with an Asset of Value framework, enabled Atomic Oil to achieve a R60m valuation...

Read more

Business Is a Bloody Sport: Why Risk Management is Important
The Money Show Business Survival Accelerating Growth

Business Is a Bloody Sport: Why Risk Management is Important

In 2008, determined entrepreneur, Karabo Songo, established Olive Communications. I first met Karabo during the 2013 Business...

Read more

Spend more time on your business and less time in it with improved business systems
Growing business value Business Systems

Spend more time on your business and less time in it with improved business systems

We have seen a common theme emerging in our recent meetings with various entrepreneurs. As a business owner, you might be...

Read more

How effective business systems can ready your business for sale
Growing business value Growing Business Systems Business Exit Exit strategy

How effective business systems can ready your business for sale

People sell their businesses for many reasons. Fatigue from too many years in the game is one of the most common. They might...

Read more

The Asset of Value Strategy Series
AoV Mindset Pricing Growing business value Asset of Value Building your Business Finding Customers Strategy Employing people

The Asset of Value Strategy Series

Welcome to the Asset of Value Series. As part of the Nedbank Business Accelerator Campaign with 702 this year, our CEO Pavlo...

Read more

Assessing Franchise Opportunities
Business Opportunities The Money Show Growing business value Asset of Value Business Development Accelerating Growth

Assessing Franchise Opportunities

Building your business into an asset of value may include expanding through franchise opportunities. This week, on The Money...

Read more

A Business Strategy to Turn a Dreadful Year into a Success
Growing Strategy Accelerating Growth Business Strategy

A Business Strategy to Turn a Dreadful Year into a Success

This year has been tough for everyone, and there are just 12 weeks left before world of business winds up for 2017. There...

Read more

How to avoid a horror story when buying software for your business
Growing business value Asset of Value Business Development Building your Business

How to avoid a horror story when buying software for your business

Technology is both a driver and frustration for every person and business. Every business no matter what business you are...

Read more

Grow your ideas with business innovation
Growing business value Asset of Value Growing

Grow your ideas with business innovation

South Africa is lagging behind when it comes to innovation, according to a recent World Bank report. But why is innovation...

Read more

Play to your strengths – how the epic Mayweather-McGregor fight can take your business to the next level
The Money Show Growing business value Building your Business Growing

Play to your strengths – how the epic Mayweather-McGregor fight can take your business to the next level

Undefeated welterweight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr met mixed martial arts world champion Conor McGregor in Las Vegas...

Read more

Part 2: How to protect your growing business from big business theft
In the News The Money Show Business Development Building your Business Positioning your Business

Part 2: How to protect your growing business from big business theft

The tender trap   After the launch of the BLSA, and the commitments made by big business to entrepreneurs, it sparked...

Read more

Part 1: Big business commitments to small business with the launch of the BLSA
Business Opportunities The Money Show Building your Business Inspiration

Part 1: Big business commitments to small business with the launch of the BLSA

I attended the launch of Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) – which is headed by former Shell CEO Bonang Mohale – last...

Read more

ANN7 sale should have entrepreneurs asking themselves what their business is worth
AoV Mindset The Money Show Sales Business Exit

ANN7 sale should have entrepreneurs asking themselves what their business is worth

On Monday, 21 August, we spoke to Bruce Whitfield on The Money Show on Radio 702 and Cape Talk of that day’s R450 million...

Read more