image1 image2 image3


Reputation matters

When somebody in a prominent position at a Fortune 500 company, a government, a cricket team, indulges in unethical and immoral behaviour in his personal life, which is then unearthed, it matters. It is turned into big news by the media. The person in question may be sacked from his position, may be suspended from his responsibilities, may lose endorsement deals from big brands like in the case of Tiger Woods.

This highlights the tendency of the majority of us to follow people and brands rather than follow ideas. We discredit the ideas of those whose occasional actions are questionable, even though the ideas themselves are credit-worthy.

Commissioner Gordon (in The Dark Knight):
The Joker won. All of Harvey's prosecutions, everything he fought for...undone. Whatever chance you gave us of fixing our city dies with Harvey's reputation. We bet it all on him. The Joker took the best of us and tore him down. People will lose hope.
This must act as a guiding principle for all brands. We do not differentiate the brand and the idea it represents. It is one and the same to us. Barcelona will not have the same set of fans if it suddenly changes to a defensive style of play.

That doesn't mean that brands cannot change what they stand for. The change needs to be natural and accepted by their followers.

Recently, Vikdevil made a point that this is the reason why Arvind Kejriwal had to quit being the CM of Delhi the way he did. He had to come back with a new manifesto that he could actually deliver on, and at the same time not lose too many of his followers.

Share this: