Commentary

What Your Good Name Is Worth

There has been no shortage of studies on how email marketing is affected by a brand’s reputation. For example, Return Path reported that email delivery depends upon sending patterns and behaviors, and is affected by subscriber behavior.

Here is a study that discusses reputation in a broader sense. In surveying 2,032 consumers in the U.S. and UK, Lithium and the Harris Poll found that 92% of respondents will spend at least some of their disposable income on products from their favorite brands. Typically, that means spending $100 per month in the U.S. — 33% of their disposable income — compared with 50 pounds, or 25%, in the UK.  

And while email is not their first choice for asking questions, consumers are happiest with the results they get from this channel. Of the consumers polled, 49% said they have had the most positive experiences with email.

Email ranks second for posing questions about products and services that people are interested in purchasing, both in-store and in-person, at 16% apiece. The first choice is the brand’s Web site, blog or social site, for 28%.

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In addition, email is the third choice for engaging with a brand in general (16%), for wanting more information about the company (!2%) and for requesting more information about the products and services offered (12%). Given consumers’ feelings about the email experience, you would think those numbers would be higher.

Meanwhile, 64% of all adults in the U.S. and 57% in the UK would share a negative experience with a brand. And 55% in both countries are more likely to share a bad experience than a good one.

Worse, 80% would stop using a brand after a single unpleasant experience, and 87% would agree look elsewhere. British consumers are less likely than Americans to return to an offending brand. Overall, only 5% of all consumers will give a brand a second chance.

That’s especially true for restaurants — 91% of the respondents will switch after bad experiences, and 44% after the first one. Second are telecommunications providers — 89% will move on. Tied for third, with a potential 88% falloff apiece, are insurance providers, hotels, consumer electronics firms, banks and consumer packaged goods providers. Not much wriggle room here for anyone.

But here’s another way of looking at it. You’ve heard of the Deep State? Let’s go Deep Corporate. The Harris Poll, in a study released today that out of 23,000 Americans surveyed, half rate CEOs’ reputations as bad. Only a quarter say they’re good.

As you might expect, Republicans are more likely to give CEOs a good rating. And Millennials, in general, are more prone to do so than older people. But there’s not much comfort here. Even among the Republicans surveyed, 42% rate CEOs’ reps as bad. On the other hand, Harris also found that 53% of Democrats give good marks to business leaders in media, compared with 26% of Republicans.

What are consumers looking for in their CEOs? They want them to be trusted, ethical and accountable, and not so much to be curious, visible and bold. Clearly, they favor solid, less charismatic types.

Here’s one final thing to keep in mind: Most Americans— 75% — would avoid taking a political position if they were a CEO. Maybe they’re smarter than many actual CEOs. 

3 comments about "What Your Good Name Is Worth".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network, March 20, 2017 at 5:31 p.m.


    Some odd numbers there.  For example, I'm very surprised that $100 represents as high as 33% of average disposable income per month in the US.  A clear definition of "disposable income" would help.

    The other number than stands out for me is; "80% would stop using a brand after a single unpleasant experience, and 87% would agree look elsewhere." (sic)

    While those 80% and 87% figures themselves are not at all surprising, it's truly mind-boggling that the vast majority of companies apparently don't believe, or simply ignore the fact that even one unpleasant experience will drive a customer away.  Of the hundreds of customer service departments I deal with, I can count the "good" ones on one hand ... and I'm a reasonably nice guy. More or less.  The vast majority of them treat even simple requests like ransom demands. 

    As far as politically vocal CEOs go, I have no problem with that, as long as their opinions match mine exactly.  Otherwise, they should be fired immediately and their products boycotted.  If nothing else, I'm reasonable and fair-minded. 

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 20, 2017 at 6:15 p.m.

    Chuck, the last time I checked, the average person's disposable income---namely after taxes and social security is deducted ---is about $3000 per month, not $300 as noted in the article. Even if my figure applies only to those with employment, this nets out to about $1500 per month for the total population, which is still way different from $300. Perhaps they lost a zseo? Or, changed definitions? As for the highly generalized nonsense about brand loyalty, reactions to bad experiences, etc. it all depends on what product or service is involved. If I have a bad experience on a cruise line trip, that's probably it for that carrier; if my detergent doesn't seen to be getting the spots out as well as I'd like, that doesn't mean that I switch brands instantly----maybe after a while, if "the problem" continues.

  3. Chuck Lantz from 2007ac.com, 2017ac.com network replied, March 20, 2017 at 6:26 p.m.


    Thanks, Ed.  And good luck with those spots.

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