Amith Prabhu: The Public Reputation Alphabet

01 Sep,2014

By Amith Prabhu


Public Reputation is built on the pillars of Actions, Behaviour, Character and Dialogue. And these are true for brands as well as men and women who manage these brands as executives, spokespersons and chief officers. This is a list of 26 things brands and their custodians need to bear in mind in order to protect and enhance the reputation of the gems under their care.


Actions are what we do that are known in public. Hence brand custodians, whether in a PR firm, an ad agency or working with the company that owns the brand need to be extremely careful when they represent the brand.


Behaviour is about mannerisms which is a mix of body language, demeanor, excellence, display of punctuality and various things associated with respect and discipline. Out mental framework is displayed by how we behave.


Character is the inherent qualities that others look at us for. The character of individuals or groups who work on a brand rubs off on the brand itself, most often.


Dialogue is how we collaborate and converse with various stakeholders in a process of engagement. Ensuring that this is respectful is of utmost importance.


But why stop here. Let’s go all the way to Z.


Ethics at all times. This is not negotiable and this needs no explanation.

Fearlessness to strive for excellence. Doing the right things is not everything. It has to be the only thing.

Guts to do the right thing. Building on fearlessness, having the courage needs much more than just the willingness.

Honesty in every dealing. Need one say more?

Inspirational product or experience that people want to come back for more. Apple is an example of this attribute and there are few other brands that do not stop inspiring.

Joyful employees is an important aspect of a brand organisation that help build brand value.

Kind gestures from employees of the oragnisation that the brand is part of, go a long way in building positivity for the brand.

Leadership qualities that executives behind a brand display internally or externally are paramount for a brand’s success.

Meaningful ways of doing things. This ensures every existing and potential brand users is delighted every time.

Noble deeds are far and few. But along with kind gestures these are important for an organisation to focus on as a part of giving back.

Openness, especially in times of crisis is very critical for a brand to be seen as forthcoming and transparent.

Purposeful in terms of brand attributes that add value to the customer.

Quality is not an option. The first thing that happens when quality of a product or service suffers is the bashing it gets on social media.

Respect must be earned and this is a slow and steady process that comes from the Right Actions, Right Behaviour, Right Character and Right Dialogue.

Simplicity is important in an ever complex world of multiple options. This needs no explanation.

Trust has to be built by what the brand offers and what brand custodians say about the offering. Trust and respect go hand in hand.

Uniqueness is important to build a good reputation quickly. When the product or service addresses a specific problem that has not been addressed before it becomes likeable.

Valuable is ultimately about value for money and about creating value. If a brand gets this right then it has hit the right chord with stakeholders.

Warmth that a brand exudes is seen when dealing with the face of the brand or seeing brand ambassadors. This is important in building a public reputation.

eXcellence is about ensuring that a brand gets it right each time and in everything it promises to offer.

Yes We Can’ attitude is how a service brand or a product brand that needs servicing ensures that the user experience is always superior.

Zeal is about passion and enthusiasm that people working for a brand display at all times.


I hope this helps public reputation professionals plan reputation enhancement campaigns for brand they work on in a systematic and scientific way.


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