If you ask Forbes Media and Reputation Institute, Amazon is the most reputable company in the world today. Did you think it was Google? Sorry, but the search engine ranked ninth.
According to Reputation Institute’s managing partner Anthony Johndrow, reputation is based on these three criteria:
- Trust in company and leaders, not products and brands
- Multiple stakeholders and interactions
- The connection between reputation strategy and business strategy
Using these criteria is very telling. Amazon’s reputation is not based on its brand or its products, which makes me wonder if Google would have ranked higher had product been a criteria. Amazon’s leadership clearly has some clout, but controversies over privacy and several other issues around the world have caused many people to go sour on Google’s leadership even if they like the search product the company is leading its competition with.
That tells me something. Your company’s reputation is an extension of your leadership’s reputation. It is not extension of your product’s reputation. You might have the best product or service in the world, but if those people at the top of your organization cannot command respect, then your company won’t command respect. This is a universal truth. No matter how small or large your company is, reputation is all about leadership.