First ‘Hard To Measure’ roundtable

First ‘Hard To Measure’ roundtable

The Challenges of Reputation…

This  November 23rd of 2012, Karen Topp and James Bridgman (Creative director at Silverleaf) ran the first of a series of ‘Hard to Measure’ roundtable discussions, focussing on the difficulties of managing, measuring and tracking reputation as a key element of business success. They were joined by a great panel of experts from across marketing, social media and corporate branding.

The Debate

Brand Reputation Infographic

During the 3 hour roundtable session, a great deal was covered, and we can only highlight the core facts here. Karen Topp and James Bridgman, as facilitators of the discussion and organisers of the event, will be producing two reports, in depth and summary versions, over the next couple of weeks.

Much of the discussion hinged on two main challenges – the issues around credibility of brand reputation as a driver of business success for the top management team or board, and the effectiveness of the organisation to embrace reputation and brand as central to their ethos and a way to enable collaboration and innovation.

Practical Problems

With my branding hat on, I was particularly struck by the challenge of reconciling different perspectives, both of the brand owner and of the customer. How, for example, can businesses expect to be moving in the right direction strategically if all their current measurement are driven by ‘immediate impact’ metrics, often related to digital and social media channels (because it’s the easiest to measure).

Equally, most companies struggle to break their brand related innovation out of the marketing department and into training, product development or sales to engage and inspire the employees to drive the company forward. Surinder gave the example of Nokia, whose product development process was not sufficiently driven by marketing insights (Nokia 5-10 years ago, not the Nokia of today).

The discussion also turned on metrics themselves – which are useful for measuring reputation, how accurate are they, and who should measure what? Sentiment analysis is a booming business, but computer algorithms are still poor in judging context, so have to be calibrated by people anyway! Madlen gave the example of Angry Birds Star Wars – all the sentiment analysis on online platforms was negative, as the automatic systems were picking up ‘angry’ as a comment rather than a description!


Making notes on the brand reputation roundtable



Next Roundtable Event:
‘Customer Centricity: measuring the benefits of putting the customer at the heart of your business’

18th January 2013, Central London

email or to request an invitation


Would you like to contribute to the debate, we would love to hear from you! Some of the issues related to this topic include:

  • Who can be affected by reputation changes? What matters to these audiences?  What metrics will they listen to?
  • Why is reputation important?  Why measure it?
  • What metrics can we use?  Which one is most useful?  The ones we talked about today:  sentiment, brand value.  What else?
  • How do we set measurable reputation objectives, and how to we set the right targets?
  • How do we adapt our targets to the cultural and industry context in which we operate?
  • How can we make sure the sentiment or feedback we capture is honest?

Can you help us answer these questions?  Do you have an innovative solution to suggest?  Have you managed to answer some of these questions within your business?  Do you have best-practice case studies which could help? Comment below or get in touch.

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