Branding | 3 min. read

Managing brand reputation in modern supply chains

Written by Mike Nield, 03.02.2017

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Green trees reflected in the window of an office building – representing CSR

There is an increasing call for ethical responsibility throughout the supply chain. Now is the time to look at your strategic positioning as ethical expectations are becoming as important as purely commercial ones when it comes to maximising your profits while safeguarding your brand.

According to Reputation Institute’s global RepTrak® studies 2006-16, 48% of the variation in market value can be traced to ‘intangible, non-financial metrics that gauge a company’s stakeholder views of the company – the recommendations it gets from analysts, its social performance, its media exposure, and its public perceptions’. Furthermore, a 1-point change in public perceptions is worth a staggering 2.6% of a company’s market value, as measured by RepTrak Pulse®.

Clearly, any ethical issues that come about within a global supply chain – however far removed they may appear to be and however distant you may feel from them – have the potential to have an enormous effect on your business if they impact public perception of your brand. Consumers are better educated than ever about working conditions and this, coupled with their increased awareness of green issues, is another reason to build more sustainable, ethically aware supply chains.

In an attempt to keep costs down, supply chains are becoming more complex than ever. The problem is that the more convoluted the supply chain, the more scope there is for you to be unaware of unethical business practices taking place. Are you sure your brand reputation is protected throughout your supply chain?

When considering your long-term business strategy, you should make sure that ethical considerations weigh in the balance of all your buying decisions. When you are signing up a new partner or supplier make sure that you make your ethical stance as unambivalent as your commercial requirements. Remember it’s not just about what you are buying and how much you are paying, it is also about who you are buying from and the company they keep.

With ethical consumerism growing in popularity, you should take every opportunity to capitalise on this by communicating all your Corporate Social Responsibility achievements to your customers pro-actively via an effective marketing strategy and communications plan. The PR benefits for your brand can be considerable. By maintaining high ethical standards, as well as protecting your brand reputation, your business may also reap the rewards of lower costs, decreased waste, increased efficiency and you may even find yourself eligible for government incentive schemes either at home or overseas.

To develop and safeguard your brand reputation with effective marketing strategy and communications activities, talk to Intermedia.

Originally published February 3, 2017 16:19pm, updated September 30, 2020

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