The 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation – A Book Summary

Everything an individual or company does or produces
contributes to its reputation. Reputation is an intangible
asset, but a very important one. In some ways it is even
better than having money in the bank, but not as easily
quantified.

A good reputation is its own advertising and quality seal.
It can engender loyalty in customers that can cross several
generations and time zones. A good reputation can bring in
more customers in the good times, and be a protective buffer
in the bad times.

The author has delineated what he calls the, “18 Immutable
Laws of Corporate Reputation.” This book holistically
deals with the topic of reputation management in three
parts: establishing a good reputation, keeping that good
reputation and repairing a damaged reputation.

Law One: Maximize Your Most Powerful Asset

Reputation is an intangible asset yet it is arguably the
most valuable asset to manage and maximize. A good
reputation can attract and keep customers, investors,
and employees. Because of this, a good reputation is like
a reservoir of good will (towards the company) to help
it weather bear markets, scandals, or natural crises.
Conversely, a lost or damaged name can scar a company
and provoke boycotts or drive off new capital.

Law Two: Know Thyself – Measure Your Reputation

Before you can manage your reputation you must first
measure it and keep score. Measuring reputation is
easily done through standard public opinion or market
studies; but as each corporation has different
stakeholders (target markets, shareholders, etc.) it is
necessary to customize. Less than half of corporations
have custom research programs. There are no clear
methodologies so it is important to identify the
stakeholders (from local to global) and the relevant
attributes or quantities to be measured: the same
company may rank differently in different surveys/studies.

Law Three: Learn to Play to Many Audiences

No company is an island. Everyone has opinion on
everything. You can never please everybody.
Stakeholders are everybody involved with the
corporation. The group is as diverse as: customers,
employees, investors, market analysts, shareholders,
government, special interest groups, local communities,
retirees, etc. Know who are important and play to them.
It is helpful to think of stakeholders in terms of a
hierarchy or, graphically, as a pyramid with the most
influential at the peak and others following in descending
order. However, it is important to keep in mind that
stakeholder influence is a dynamic relationship and the
same model or model is not necessarily applicable to other
markets/locales.

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