Reputation: yours or theirs?

Posted by on Jan 28, 2009 in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


Interesting conversation last week with ol' chum during which we reduced the b-word (with all its problems) to 'reputation'.

Not entirely novel but much less ad-y and much more linked to what your business does to create it (rather a guide to what to do – the right way round, I think)

But with this comes another obvious problem: whose reputation is it?

Is it yours? In the sense that it's about you, your products and services, yes. In the sense that one of the main drivers of it, being what you do to earn the reputation that you have.

But more importantly, it's theirs – your customers', your employees, your partners and any one else who has a view on it. They make your reputation; they share it; they own it. Not you.

So don't go "moneytizing" it like it's yours…

PS talking of reputation…



    January 31, 2009

    I’m afraid I might have to disagree slightly, in that I’m not sure it’s possible for anyone to ‘own’ a reputation.
    Create one, make one, earn one, etc definitely, but ownership? Bearing in mind it’s something that can change increasingly quickly, it’s tricky enough to keep track of what the popular consensus is, let alone grab it, put a stamp on it, and put it in a box for safekeeping!
    And I also don’t think it’s possible to monetize a reputation – but you can make money by creating/encouraging/receiving a good one, or lose it with a bad one.
    (It’s BadgerGravling/Dan by the way – falling foul of Typepad’s ‘log in with Google’ option, which seems a bit rubbish!

  2. BadgerGravling
    January 31, 2009

    Just testing, feel free to delete…

  3. Helge Tennø
    January 31, 2009

    Hi Mark
    Thanks for two excellent presentations the two last weeks, the last one definitely my favorite.
    I read your exploration into the idea around what a b**** really is with great interest, and agree with you to a great extent. But I have two arguments beating at each other, representing both viewpoints, for or against killing the whole b*** term-concept.
    1. First of all brand is laden with values, and including it in discussions with peers greatly simplifies the articulation as trying to build around it often becomes messy and unnecessarily complex. “Brand” is a term – that we instinctively understand – at the same time we have a hard time articulating it. Removing it from the conversation is, at the present time, difficult. (At least, I find it difficult :o)
    2. Secondly, we are professionals on behalf of our clients and their participants / customers. And to them (the participants), a “brand” means nothing. As Jenny Owen of Ruby Pseudo said at PSFK’s London Good Idea Saloon yesterday (backed up by Paul Graham of Anamoly UK): “I’ve stopped asking people about brands, they just go “what is a brand???” They call them companies”…
    Just wanted to share that in your discussion here :o)

    February 1, 2009

    I’ve been playing with this idea all month, and tossing around views from clients, co-workers and homeless people.
    (It included changing my Blog name from “Who’s in control of your brand?” to “Who’s in control of your B****?” and surprisingly no one made a comment or asked what the buggery it meant… weird.)
    But back to my main point, and that the idea of being about to use one word to sum up so many concepts, where people have different opinions, views and beliefs around it tells me we shouldn’t use it.
    The words that I found more appropriate, depending on situation included:
    – Product
    – Story
    – Message
    – Company
    – Logo
    – Identity
    – USP
    Good experiment, and I’m going to continue to use the B-word less or not at all where possible.
    So now I just need to find another name for my blog…