Peter M. Sandman: Es gibt zwei Arten der Reputation

Plattformen wie Klout und PeerIndex bieten die Messung der Reputation an und werfen am Ende eine Gesamtzahl aus. Das entspricht einer weit verbreiteten Vorstellung von Reputation. Dem widerspricht der Reputations-Berater Peter M. Sandman in diesem interessanten (wenn auch langen) Beitrag: Two Kinds of Reputation Management

Reputation is two variables, not one. How loved you are is virtually unrelated to how hated you are; plenty of companies (and individuals) are both much-loved and much-hated.

Daraus ergeben sich Konsequenzen:

Reputation management, in short, is two jobs: trying to be more loved and trying to be less hated. (…) The biggest reason for thinking separately about “good reputation” and “bad reputation” is this: What you should do to become more loved and what you should do to become less hated are very different agendas.

Zur positiven Reputation sagt Sandman:

Increasing your positive reputation does have some payoff. When people have lots of choices, they often pick based on positive reputation. And it’s possible a positive reputation may give companies a “halo” that protects them to some extent from reputational crises. But a positive reputation also has some disadvantages. Regulators, activists, and journalists tend to pick on much-loved and much-hated companies, rather than the ones in the middle. And people feel all the more betrayed when they come to see that a company with a good reputation has clearly misbehaved.

Zur negativen Reputation:

Decreasing your negative reputation has a lot more payoff, and no downside. Socially responsible investment, for example, is actually much more about not doing evil than about doing good. And customers avoid companies they dislike far more than they seek out companies they admire. When reputational problems arise, moreover, the “Velcro effect” of a prior bad reputation is a lot more reliable than any “halo effect” of a prior good reputation.

Im Beitrag bennent er zudem fünf Regeln als Orientierung:

  • When people have lots of options, good reputation matters more than bad reputation. That’s the “looking for a book to buy” paradigm.
  • When options are limited and the choice is mostly accepting the default or raising a fuss, bad reputation matters more than good reputation. That’s the “deciding whether to let the kids go to the movie they picked” paradigm. It’s also the “deciding whether to let the company dig the mine” paradigm.
  • Even when options are limited, once a credible objection to the default has been raised, good reputation matters in assessing that objection. But only on that one issue; overall, a bad reputation still hurts more than a good reputation helps. That’s the “deciding whether to trust the company to protect the environment” paradigm.
  • A reputation for handling bad situations well is one kind of good reputation that really helps in controversies and crises. People are more accepting of risk and more forgiving of harm when the company is known for being responsive to critics’ concerns, for acknowledging the ways in which critics are right and giving them credit for improvements, for taking the blame rather than scapegoating when things go wrong, and for taking effective action to limit the damage and speed the recovery. That’s the “corporate social responsiveness” paradigm.
  • Many decisions – like investing and purchasing – start out with lots of options, where good reputation matters most. But once an initial selection has been made, the focus shifts from good reputation about core factors like profitability (for investing) and product quality (for purchasing) to bad reputation about peripheral factors – like corporate citizenship. That’s the negative screening paradigm.

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