RMA has unique insights into the drivers that shape public and media perceptions of the corporate reputations of companies. By corporate reputation, we refer to the standing, image and credibility of the company, based on a range of factors.
The factors are trustworthiness, integrity, care and responsibility for employees, customers and shareholders.
Corporate reputations are separate and distinct from corporate or product brands. In today’s globalised world, a company’s products and services are distinguished by its brand, e.g. the brands of Nike, Coke and Dell. Brands help products sell at a premium versus their competitors’.
A company’s reputation, on the other hand, boosts the company’s ability to remain in the community it operates in, to attract and retain talented staff and to withstand the onslaught of negative public opinion in times of crises. Companies that have a good corporate reputation include Robinsons, Toyota and Singapore Airlines.
Since 2005, RMA has been conducting Singapore’s only Corporate Reputation Survey to measure the corporate reputations of Singapore-based companies.
The Corporate Reputation Survey tries to determine and rank the public’s perception of the corporate reputations of Singapore-based firms in 6 categories or verticals of businesses:
- Life Insurance Companies
- General Insurance Companies
- Petroleum Companies
- Tel Cos
In order to find out which company or organisation ranks in each of these categories, we commission a nation-wide survey to ask members of the public their opinions of which companies have the best reputation.
We then concretise these opinions into an index, called the Corporate Reputation Index (CRI), the intangible asset of a company’s reputation. The CRI measures the ability of Singapore companies to manage the activities (or foci) that directly contribute to their corporate reputations.
Fig1: How Corporate Reputations Are Determined
These foci, or factors used to assess the polled companies, are:
- Employee Focus. This looks at the company’s efforts to put its employees first, such as its programmes to develop, nurture and reward talent, if it values diversity and encourages work-life balance, etc.
- Market & Customer Focus. This evaluates the company’s market standing as well as efforts and success at making its customers happy, eg through acting on customer feedback, constantly enhancing its products and services, etc.
- Community Focus. This assesses the company’s attempts to become a good corporate citizen and its achievements in integrating into the community in which it operates.
- Stakeholder Focus. This focuses on important corporate governance issues such as credible and transparent financial reporting and constant creation of shareholder value.
- Financial Focus. This examines the company’s profitability track record, and its current growth strategy and future growth prospects.
- Communications Performance. This measures the quality and quantity of the company’s communication with its stakeholders through the mass media, including the degree of openness, credibility and honesty of the communication as well as its frequency, volume and distinctiveness.
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