We measure trust
Trust is intuitively the ideal for which companies aim. Why? It’s simple – when you trust someone you are more likely to believe what they say, you will seek out their advice, you will value their experience and judgment, and ultimately, you will give them your confidence and your business. Many companies rely on an index to understand or explain their reputation. At Ipsos, we believe the best way to understand your company’s reputation is also the simplest – if you are building trust, then you are building reputation. Our research shows that when an index composed of multiple variables is compared to a simple Trust measure, there is essentially no difference between the scores.
Our reputation pyramid illustrates the process of building reputation through awareness, familiarity, favourability, and trust (see our POV, Building Trust Builds Company Performance). Beyond these “input” variables, we also consider how to measure the “output” of trust whether it is purchase intent, advocacy, or propensity to regulate. One of the key tenets in the Ipsos Present Value Approach to reputation is that reputation must mean something – there should be a tangible business impact as a result of a respondent feeling trust toward the organisation.
The pillars are the elements of an organisation’s reputation on which their overall reputation rests. These pillars provide information on the drivers of reputation. The image attributes on which the drivers are based are designed specifically to reflect the company’s values and goals as well as including attributes associated with the particular industry.
Context or scenario variables
Measures of the overall public opinion and stakeholder opinion context. Companies do not operate in a vacuum! The context variables differ greatly by client and sector. Context can include attitudes toward public policy, sector responsibilities, charitable commitments, etc.
Message testing to construct future scenarios
We believe that to manage reputation the measurement tool cannot be static, capturing only the present. Ipsos makes extensive use of message testing to measure the efficacy of future initiatives so that we can advise our clients on how to improve their reputation. Our approach to message testing allows us to gain a better understanding of which messages to use to pull the levers of reputation. By triangulating the message fit (aligning message, messenger and audience) to the key drivers of an organisation’s image and the external issue environment, communications plans can be undertaken with a greater certainty about the strategic direction of the messages. For more information see our POV, Aligning Reputation Levers, Issue Impact and Message Fit for Effective Communications.