Corporate in general, do not treat corporate reputation as a strategic management process. In most cases reputation is allowed to grow and take shape in a space assuming multiple dimensions and in most cases assuming a vague and confusing form and shape. In most cases, it leads to a reputational bubble, which I gave a subject of the reputation economy. This is a dangerous approach as frequently, rather than not, the bubble is bound to burst and the company plunges in a wave of crises, which at times is fatal. 

Crafting a new reputation trajectory requires two major ingredients, namely transparency and democracy! It’s about opening up your entire corporate supply chain and establishment to scrutiny, and ensuring that its conduct is in accordance with its objectives and culture of the same. Therein lies the crux of the organizational challenges. The thorny issue here where by the brands will prefer to undertake halfhearted approaches in an attempt to build the reputation economy that is robust and competitive. In this regard, the bulk of the entities will prefer portraying themselves as democratic institutions while failing both the litmus test on transparency and responsiveness on issues that have an impact on their identity mix and image. This will only but lead to a disjointed reputation economy, which fails to create a 360 degree reputation web that responds to the stakeholders’ needs and wants. 

This is the crisis that faces reputation managers globally. They are outward looking and tend to promise what their internal systems cannot afford to deliver. In essence, the companies’ CEOs and top leaders are concerned with shaping the image matric at the expense of attending to the internal dislocations which currently define the identity mix. Image is how the external stakeholders view the company, while identity is how the internal stakeholders, namely the employees, investors, managers and board members view themselves. Combined, we establish a reputation, which is both the internal and external view of stakeholders. 

In most instances, companies are battling with a huge reputational crisis given the process that led to its propositions and ability to meet the very same propositions. This speaks organisations creating a reputation myth which is beyond the company’s reach and thereby creating contradictions among the stakeholder chain. It therefore exert a heavy burden of trying to manage a reputation which is fragmented. In most instances, the senior company leadership fall into the mistake of focusing on the image of the corporate while relegating the identity mix of the internal stakeholders who are calling for his equal commitment to attend to the internal hygiene factors and internal dislocations.  

I will therefore make five broad recommendations towards consolidating and strengthening the fragment reputations. The following five factors will therefore enhance the organizations’ respective quest towards building a solid reputation economy. 

  1. A 360-degree approach towards understanding the stakeholder: Companies should be highly responsive in serving their multiple stakeholders. There must be no assumptions but rather undertaking a solid process of mapping all the stakeholders and methods towards engaging the stakeholders towards an organization that speaks to itself through its various stakeholders. 

Reputation management has even become more complex due to the rising tower of Babel that is social media, which actively creates platforms of conversations which escalate or cement negative or positive reputation respectively.