Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Making a Reputation

Magazine article Marketing

Opinion: Marketing Society - Making a Reputation

Article excerpt

It is usual in most companies for the corporate affairs function and brand communications to be kept well apart. Marketers and corporate affairs specialists aren't always natural bedfellows - and in any case, you might think, what has the latest TV ad for your brand got to do with that complex fair trade issue your local MP raised recently?

In fact, the two areas are becoming ever closer. There is a critical two-way street running between corporate reputation on the one hand, and the way brands are communicated to consumers on the other.

As watchdog over Nestle's reputation in the UK, I enjoy the unusual, but sensible, dual responsibility for both corporate affairs and consumer communication. It is a wide-ranging brief, but a great advantage in a world in which (as we are regularly reminded) consumers are increasingly sophisticated and aware, more and more of them wanting to know about the company behind the brand and what it stands for. Can it be trusted? Will its products let me down? And if they do, will my voice be heard? More than ever before, these days a powerful brand needs the support of a strong, reassuring corporate image.

The great thing about combining these roles is that there is one overview of all the communication going out from the company to the outside world, whether it is a TV ad, an issue statement, a press release or a community programme. Equally, you have a good handle on everything coming into the company, be it a press article, a consumer enquiry or an opinion expressed by a government minister. …

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