A company's reputation, ‘the beliefs or opinions that are generally held’ about them is a key selling and relationship tool. Not just a ‘nice to have’ it is an integral part of business strategy and a core asset to any company. A good reputation has unlimited possibilities and can lead to better relations with stakeholders.
While most reputation management currently resides in the form of reactionary crisis management, the way to cultivate a positive reputation is in the form of proactively managing reputational risk. Taking a proactive view of your company's reputation allows you to assess the risks and create ways to mitigate or accept them.
A good example of this is ASOS, a company that ranks highly among fashion retailers in the UK, who developed their stakeholder communications carefully through digital platforms, moving away from more traditional methods. Utilising digital methods to develop innovative ideas to enhance their corporate communications they have been able to create a strong reputation that has developed into a better relationship with stakeholders.
For companies to truly start to foster positive reputations, they must build on aspects of their company such as corporate citizenship, governance and ethics.