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Managers and Leaders Who Can: How you survive and succeed in the new economy by Ruth Spellman

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CHAPTER 8
MANAGING BRAND AND REPUTATION
Great brands are based on authenticity and trust. Ethics and values are critical. Organisations who say one thing and do another risk suicide.
Rita Clifton, UK Chairman, Interbrand
When times are tough, the strength and durability of an organisation’s brand and reputation can be the difference between sinking or swimming.
Take Marks & Spencer, for example. The business has been through some tumultuous times in recent years, but has managed to stand firm because customers know and respect the quality, value and service ethos it stands for.
Apple is another example of an organisation that is successfully using its brand to stay a step ahead of the competition. The technology behind its products is universal, but thanks to the brand values it holds dear – innovation and staying one step ahead – its products are widely regarded as the latest ‘must have’.
Brand value can take years to build. But as many organisations have found to their cost, it can also very quickly be undermined. A breakdown in the supply chain, a failure to communicate, a whiff of industrial unrest – all these can undermine consumer confidence and turn into a PR disaster almost overnight.
This makes it vital for organisations to have management processes in place that support the brand and ensure its potential is exploited to the full. Managers also have a vital role to play in making sure employees buy into the brand and reflect the brand values on a day-to-day basis in ...

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