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Managing Brand Reputation & Building Trust A Tricky Issue

Trust in business is at its lowest point in centuries. According to a recent Roper study, only 13% of Americans found large corporations to be trustworthy. A separate Gallup survey showed that 62% of people do not trust large companies.
In order to help reverse this trend, marketing veteran Jarvis Cromwell has recently formed The Reputation Garage, an open-source think tank led by a diverse group of industry experts. Anchored by a blog,, the Garage is designed to “help uncover, evaluate and share fresh new ideas to help organizations build trust.”
Cromwell, a 25-year marketing veteran who has served as CMO for several large global companies, points out that one of the results of the declining trust among customers, is a “show me marketplace where a company’s actions speak louder than words.”
Because of this overall cynicism, he pointed out that customer loyalty is harder to achieve and many leading companies are turning to evidence marketing and word-of-mouth marketing as alternatives to traditional media.
In addition to the customer consequences companies are facing due to waning trust, Cromwell added that employee engagement is also getting harder to drive. He demonstrates the positive impact employee engagement and satisfaction has on overall performance by showing that the company’s featured in Fortune’s 100 Best Places To Work grew by 176% from 1998 through 2004, while the S&P 500 increased only 39% during the same period.
As principal of J-2 Consultancy,, Cromwell works with leading companies on mitigating the negative impacts of the low trust environment as well as building their ability to attract, retain and grow customers.
In addition to Cromwell, the other “Trustmeister” contributors to the Garage blog, include:

* Paul Dunay, currently a Director of Global Field Marketing for Bearing Point, and a previous contributor to such leading tech companies as Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, Avaya and Cisco;

* Paul Allen, the Chairman of independent advertising agency Allen & Gerritsen, which has worked with a variety of clients in retail including Pathmark Stores, HomeGoods and Shaw’s Supermarkets;

* Samantha Taylor, the founder and principal of Reputation Dynamics, consultancy dedicated to helping to protect and enhance the reputation of brands.